“Destination… Ethiopia”: the Festival again focuses its gaze on Africa
After the special edition for the 70th anniversary, which transformed Destination… into a futuristic journey across time and the history of Trento Film Festival, the highly popular section goes back to exploring the landscapes and cultures of the planet in 2023, turning its attention to Ethiopia. «The decision to dedicate the Destination… section to Ethiopia is designed to encourage viewers to explore the African continent through images and stories, for the second time after the success of the events dedicated to Morocco in 2019, discovering the landscapes and traditions of a unique and fascinating country, and dealing with historic geopolitical phenomena too often ignored or undervalued by short-sighted interpretations proposed in Europe and the West» explains Sergio Fant, in charge of the film programme for Trento Film Festival.
With an average altitude of 1,330 metres above sea level, Ethiopia is one of the highest lands on the planet. Its highest peak is Ras Dascian, which reaches an altitude of 4,533 metres asl, while Addis Abiba, at 2,355 metres asl, is the fourth highest capital in the world. In Africa, a continent beset with crises and problems, Ethiopia is a particularly topical and dramatic case. On 12 November 2022, an armistice was signed between the Ethiopian government and the People’s Liberation Front in Tigray, the region in the north of the country where conflict had been underway between federal forces and local authorities since November 2020, leading to one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world in recent times. «All this takes place in a country offering landscapes of striking beauty, marked by luxuriant green mountains surprising those who imagine the Horn of Africa as a bare land of deserts, with communities whose traditions date back thousands of years, having deep links with the geographical area, an area that would represent a unique natural resource for the continent, if it were not ransacked by local and global interests», Fant continues.
Moving away from current affairs to focus on history, the Destination… Ethiopia project comes at a time when the recent centenary of the march on Rome and the advent of Mussolini’s regime can also allow the Festival to make a precious contribution to postcolonial reflection and to increasing awareness of the areas and peoples that were the victims of Fascist imperial aspirations.
The programme of films and events in Destination… Ethiopia has received the support of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.