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".