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Heart of Fire

by Luigi Falorni

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Eritrea at the beginning of the 1980s. Awet’s mother left her when she was only a little girl and now she is growing up in an orphanage in Asmara where she is raised in the Catholic faith by Italian nuns. Her sense of justice is in evidence at an early age; as a young girl she is always trying to assert herself and protest against injustice. Several years later, her father – whom she believed lost – takes her away to live with his new family. But Awet is not welcome; her father torments her and finally gives her and her sister to one of Eritrea’s liberation armies. The two girls are brought to a camp where they are to be trained as soldiers. Awet has to get used to a harsh life. Hunger, loneliness and the hard labour at the camp make it a struggle for her to survive. Awet experiences the insanity of war and is confronted with death and fanaticism. Nevertheless, thanks to her ‘heart of fire’, her courage and her conscience, she manages to find a way out of her terrible ordeal.
Based on Senait Mehari's biography "Heart of Fire".

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