In my Mother's House: Screening and panel discussion

Picture from in my mother's house. All rights reserved.

In my Mother's House: Screening and panel discussion

Friday, 10 June 2016 - 5:00pm
Venue: 
Pavilion Room, St Antony's College
Speaker(s): 
Lina Fruzzetti (Brown) and Ákos Östör (Wesleyan)
Chair: 
Dr F Devji
Discussant: 
Paola Mattei (European Studies Centre) and Jason Mosley (African Studies Centre)

In My Mother’s House
A film by Lina Fruzzetti and Ákos Östör
Colour, 82 min

A screening followed by a panel discussion with the film-makers, Paola Mattei (European Studies Centre) and Jason Mosley (African Studies Centre), chaired by Faisal Devji (Asian Studies Centre). 

On a random Thursday in 2004, Lina Fruzzetti received a startling email that read, “If this is your father, we are cousins.” Attached was a photo of her father, who died when she was two. There follows a decade-long quest to learn more about her Italian father who died young in Italian ruled Eritrea and her Eritrean mother who does not dwell on or speak about the past. Above all, Fruzzetti strives to understand her far-flung African, European, and American family against the backdrop of colonial rule, worlds at war, migration, grief, Diasporas, and the global world which in we all live.
In My Mother’s House was filmed in Italy, Eritrea, and the United States, and features Italian, Arabic, Tigrinya and English, with English subtitles. The film alternates between this family’s intimate conversations and daily routines, with emphasis on the wider historical and social settings that impacted their circumstances.

Lina Fruzzetti and Ákos Östör are university-based filmmaker-ethnographers, from Brown and Wesleyan Universities in the eastern part of the United States. Together and separately they authored numerous distinguished films and publications. Fruzzetti and Östör collaborate closely with participants in their films and often with other filmmakers. The films are at once visually interpretive and informative, respecting the integrity of the culture and the locality. Depending upon a film’s demands, they will use narration or not, subtitles or voice over, and inter-titles or no words at all.
Their previous works were filmed in India and Tanzania, and concern individual lives in small communities, in contexts ranging from sacred rituals and festivals in a town, to women scroll painters and singers in village West Bengal; from fish markets in Dar es Salaam, to a handicapped people’s cooperative in Zanzibar. All were shown at festivals around the world and won numerous awards.
Their other visual and written works are related to the films: numerous books and articles about research in West Bengal (rituals, kinship, markets, political movements and folk theatre); museum exhibition/installations and catalogues (Helsinki, Divine Gifts 2005; Lisbon, Singing Pictures 2007; Geneva, Flavour of the Arts 2011); and websites complementing the ethnographies and the films, including Scroll Singers of Naya and Cycles of Life in a Bengali Town.
This is their first biographical and deeply personal film, at once singular and universal.

This event is jointly organised by the African Studies Centre, European Studies Centre and Asian Studies Centre.