Heidi Specogna, Switzerland/Germany 2021, 110'
WORLD Premiere
Sun. 8.8.2021, 10h45, La Sala
Mo. 9.8.2021, 9h00, Palacinema 1

en / it / de / fr

Nardos is a mother and musician. She sings traditional Azmari songs in a small cultural centre in Addis Ababa. She is dreaming of writing her own songs that tell the stories of ordinary people because most of the old Azmari songs deal only with love and its trials and tribulations. Nardos would much rather talk about life in her songs, about the life of Ethiopian women, the difficulties they have (for example, the marriage of very young girls), but also about the possibilities, the power of women. Nardo's own life, the balancing act between being a mother and a musician, is not easy either. But she persists, with great joie de vivre and perseverance – and blessed with great talent. In her search for stories for her songs, she meets the poetess Gennet, who lives with her children on the street. The two women write and compose a first song that spans ancient traditions and the modern reality of life of an Ethiopian woman.

Heidi Specogna's film shows an Ethiopia that is changing rapidly. Her film images feed on the tension between traditional Ethiopian culture and globalised modernisation: While women work at their self-made spinning wheels in simple homes, a state-of-the-art high-rise glass building is being built next door. And while Nardos brings up her children in this rapidly changing country, she presents her first own Azmari song to the world, which is dedicated to the Ethiopian girls: “You flower, just before busting into bloom, grow up and forget what used to be.”

Brigitte Häring