The Anglo-Ethiopian Society

Film - Anbessa followed by Q&A with director Mo Scarpelli

Director Mo Scarpelli

Friday 7th June 2019

19:00 - 22:00, The Yellow, 1 Humphry Repton Lane, Wembley Park, Wembley HA9 0GL

Free Film Screening and Q&A with the director, Mo Scarpelli.


Outside Addis Ababa, at the border where one of Africa's largest apartment developments abuts farmlands over a thousand years old, the ever-inventive Asalif dwells in an earthen‑walled tool shed with his mother. Observing him through the perceptive lens of documentarian Mo Scarpelli, who began her lasting relationship with the ten‑year‑old when the identical complexes were still new and uninhabited, we discover a boy with unwavering curiosity and imagination. Adorning a costume mane, he transforms into Anbessa ("lion" in Amharic) and searches for ways to fend off the march of "progress" that threatens to displace him and his mother, again.

On most days, Asalif sports a pointy blue hoodie and splits his time between the refuse piles at the neighboring condominiums and the hyena-filled mountains opposite. Venturing between the two locales, Asalif stops occasionally for conversations with birds, to eavesdrop on bar chatter, or to get to know children from the apartments on one side and the farms on the other. What quickly becomes apparent, is the significance of his status between. Among the new and old, Asalif utilizes his engineering skills to resurrect and repurpose discarded tech—stunning inventions from the grounds of ancient tradition, but minor ones in the shadow of globalism's manufactured offerings. As modern development encroaches, he must shed the mane of Anbessa and confront the world as Asalif.

Filmmaker: Mo Scarpelli
Country of Production: Ethiopia Italy USA
Year: 2019
Length: 85mins
Language(s): Amharic with English Subtitles
Genre: Documentary

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Mo Scarpelli.

The event is free but tickets should be booked via Eventbrite:

Eventbrite Tickets - Tickets for screening of Anbessa and Q&A with Mo Scarpelli

Anglo-Ethiopian Society Web Listing May-19

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