International Diaspora Film Festival

Film Screenings - 2009

Saturday 7 November, 9:00 PM


Heart of Fire
Heart of Fire
Luigi Falorni
Germany/Italy/Austria/France/Kenya, 2008, 94 min.
In Tigrigna and Italian with English subtitles
Featuring: Letekidan Micael, Solomie Micael, Seble Tilahun, Daniel Seyoum

Nominated, Golden Berlin Bear, Berlin International Film Festival 2008
Canadian Premiere

In a land fighting for independence, a young girl soldier refuses to kill...

Inspired by the controversial memoir by Senait Mehari, Heart of Fire tells the tale of 10-year old Awet who was reclaimed from an orphanage by her father and forced to fight for the Eritrean Liberation Front (Jebha) in the war for independence against Ethiopia. Having been taught to fight oppression at all costs, Awet at first willingly chants songs of liberation along with the guerilla group and, too young to bear arms, joins the other children in various support functions around the secret camp. Her courageous sense of self-worth quickly puts her at odds with the Jehba's militant commander, Ma'aza. It's not long before increasingly grave attacks mounted by their enemies, the Shabia, create the necessity of arming even the youngest children with rifles. Although barely able to shoulder the powerful weapon, Awet dutifully learns to load and fire it. But when the young soldier first sees the enemy dead and realizes that they are just as human as she, Awet makes a solemn oath never to kill. Labeled a traitor by Ma'aza, Awet nevertheless stands her ground and fights the violence in the disarming way that only a child can.

Director's Biography:
Luigi Falorni

Luigi Falorni was born in Florence in 1971. He took a directing course at the Cooperazione Schermobianco and went on to make the feature documentary Fool and Heroes (1997). In 2003 he graduated from the School of Film and Television in Munich, and, in the same year, was nominated for an Oscar for his documentary The Story of the Weeping Camel. Falorni was later awarded Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary from the Directors Guild of America in 2005.

Venue: Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave.,
Toronto M5S 1J5 (off St. George St., one block south of Bloor, Subway St. George)
$10 / $8 students and seniors