Ten-year-old Asalif and his mother have been displaced from their farmland on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by the construction of a condominium. As they watch the buildings take shape, they are reminded in small and big ways that their country’s dream of “progress” is not for them. To fight back against those casting him out and those threatening his mother’s safety, Asalif taps into a fantasy of becoming his hero: the lion (“anbessa” in Amharic).
Mo Scarpelli is an Italian-American director and cinematographer of non-fiction cinema. Her films have screened at the Berlinale, IDFA, SXSW and other festivals. Her debut solo-directed film ANBESSA was nominated for the Crystal Bear and Glashütte Documentary Prize at the 69° Berlinale.
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