2013 | Feature film | Documentary | 70′
Directed by Ventura Durall
Produced by Nanouk Films in coproduction with TV3, with the support of ICAA and ICEC
Three streetkids wander the streets of Addis Abeba. They try to survive by using their inventiveness, committing minor thefts and supporting each other solidly united.
Homesickness, chance and necessity however make them venture a journey towards the north of Ethiopia. A journey during which they will experience unusual adventures before being reunited with their families whom they decided to leave when they were still little. The kids will then have to deal with the fears and memories that have arisen during the trip under the new
circumstances, with the past being vividly present.
In Addis Abeba, the Ethiopian capital, over 270.000 street kids live without their parents and almost forgotten by law and society. Daniel, a boy from the countryside, is 9 years old when he arrives in the city. He meets Habtom and Yohannes, both aged 12, who live in an abandoned car. They first don’t want to accept him in their group but after they overcome some initial conflicts they eventually become friends. Together, they share the hard life in the city. They lead adult lives – although they are still children. But they are smart and inventive and manage to survive on petty thefts.
A year passes by. When homesickness, feelings of responsibility and the problems with the rivalling gang of street kids increase to an intolerable level they decide to return to their poor home villages to visit their parents whom they left behind many years ago. Like little stones that are taken away with the river they start the long journey towards the north of the vast and unknown country, by bus, boat, hitchhiking and by foot. Our little heroes meet a girl who is also on her way to reunite with her family. They share some days of friendship and complicity.
However, sexual tensions between the girl and the two older boys soon arise. She tells them her views on the boys’ lives and questions the values they have got used to accept as their own. The girl finally decides to split and continue on her own. Meanwhile we discover more of Daniel’s personality and its ever more complex and darker sides. He confesses having killed his stepmother and that this is the true reason why he is fleeing from Addis Abeba.
The three boys buy expensive presents for their families and then also separate – Daniel and Habtom head towards Habtom’s home village where his mother is awaiting him, Yohannes continues on his own to meet his father. When they finally reach their destinations, they realise that more things have changed since they last saw their parents than they expected.