Eritrea during the independence war against Ethiopia. Awet's mother left her when she was only a little girl and now she is growing up - in the midst of the upheaval - in an orphanage in Asmara. Her sense of justice is in evidence at an early age; as a young girl she is always trying to assert herself and protest against injustice. Several years later, her father - whom she believed lost - takes her away to live with his new family. But Awet is not welcome; her father torments her and finally gives her and her sister to one of Eritrea's liberation armies. The two girls are brought to a camp where they are to be trained as soldiers. There Awet experiences friendship, solidarity, and enthusiasm for the ideals of freedom. But her dream is shattered when she realizes that her heroes are committed to a brutal brothers' war against another liberation army. Confronted with death and fanaticism, Awet has to resort to her 'heart of fire', her courage and her conscience, to find a way out of ... Written by
I saw this last month at the 2009 Palm Springs International Film Festival. From writer/director Lugigi Falorni in a script co-adapted with Gabriele Kister and based on the published memoir of Senait G. Menhari this is the story of Awet (Leketidan) who is a little girl living in a Catholic orphanage in war torn Eritrea in the middle of a civil war with liberation rebels fighting loyalists to Etritrean historical arch enemy Ethiopia. Awet's father in a rebel village sends for his daughter to come back and live with him and her older sister Freweyini. Awet's father soon conscripts his daughters to the rebels cause and they are sent to a rebel military camp run by Ma'aza (Seble Tilahun). Awet respects Ma'aza and tries to mimic her attitude and appearance. Awet will find that the sympathetic Mike'ele (Daniel Seyoum) has her better interest in mind. A Kenyan-German co-production with cinematography from noted photographer Judith Kaufmann this is a good film and moves along while keeping your interest throughout. I would give it a 7.5 out of 10 and recommend it.
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