The Children of Adwa: 40 Years Later.
Conceived as a sequel to his prize-winning documentary ADWA: An African Victory, The Children of Adwa tells the story of Ethiopia’s response to Italy’s invasion in 1935, forty years after Italy’s defeat at the Battle of Adwa in 1896.
The Children of Adwa combines personal accounts and memories of the war with age-old folklore, war chants, and praise poetry, to contour the communal trauma of the invasion and capture the collective spirit of resistance that ensured Ethiopia’s victory and enduring independence from colonial greed.
For several decades, Haile has recorded personal accounts of resistance fighters and documented stories of patriot elders who were first-hand witnesses of the war. His extensive research for The Children of Adwa brings to light extraordinary images and little-known historical footage that weaves together a dynamic narrative of the people and events surrounding the war.
Under the Fascist leadership of Mussolini, they all congregated in Rome, mainly emphasizing avenging the humiliating defeat by black people. The idea was undoubtedly to re-paint that humiliation.
The Children of Adwa: 40 Years Later is a feature-length documentary about Ethiopia’s decisive anti-colonial victory against Italy’s second invasion in 1935, a punitive expedition designed to revenge her defeat at the Battle of Adwa in 1896.
Nestled between majestic mountains in the north, the town of Adwa was the site of this battle that called upon young and old to stand firm and withstand the onslaught of modern weaponry and the rain of mustard gas to defend Ethiopia’s sovereignty.
The Children of Adwa links these two invasions through collective memory and generational stories, threading themes of resistance, survival, and hope imparted through warnings about the imminent return of Italians by warriors of the Battle of Adwa to their children.
Just by releasing bees from the hives, we could sweep the white men; they all ran when stung by the honeybees, throwing their rifles behind…. That was it… we deliberately provoked the bees to sting the white men... that was when the Italians ran away… that was when we confronted them. It was how we got through those turbulent five years.
This effort is undertaken by friends and supporters of Haile Gerima’s work and aims to raise funds to complete The Children of Adwa. It is inspired by Haile’s lifelong dedication to bring important stories of resistance, humanity, and survival to the screen. It reflects community ownership of our shared history and the significance of representing our past on our own terms. Funds raised will cover the film’s post-production cost.
Children of Adwa Fundraising Team
Tax deductible donations can be made to Positive Productions, Inc. (PPI), a 501 (c) (3) non-profit dedicated to the development of black independent filmmaking.
As a non-profit fiscal sponsor for this film, PPI will accept tax-deductible donations on behalf of the production company, Negod Gwad Productions.
100% of your donation goes towards post-production costs for Children of Adwa.