Thursday, June 6, 2024

MADE IN ETHIOPIA (2024) Tribeca 2024

I look at the Chinese run Eastern Industrial Park in Ethiopia as it attempts to start to build it's second phase. The park attracted thousands of people to the factories situated there, However as stage two begins complications arise as prices rise, people who were promised compensation grumble and life has other plans. 

Focusing on several people, a Chinese Desuty director in the park, two women working in the factories and their families and a government official, the film gives us good over view of the complicated situation. The way things go isn't really happy for anyone with one of the women remarking late n the film that they no longer dream but simply go where life takes them. It's a sad moment that breaks our hearts.

This is a film you have to belt in and go with. I initially, and wrongly, thought that this was was going to be a rah rah film about Chinese coming in and doing wonderful things. It seemed that way because at the start the film shows us how "great" things are thanks to Deputy Director Motto's enthusiasm.  That slowly turns into something less happy, there are troubles all around, all of them unforeseen.

This is a great film. In an age where we are told about Chinese investment in Africa, this film shows us what that entails on some level. We see the good and the bad of it, and of corporate control in general. Its a film that beautifully tells it's story  opening our eyes and making us wonder what is going to happen next. Yes, the film ends but the story isn't over which keeps us thinking.


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