Voices and images of a postcolonial heritage

Alan Maglio and Medhin Paolos present their documentary “Asmarina”, based within the habesha community of Milan. 

The Eritrean/Ethiopian community has been present in Italy for at least half a century and it has been actively integrated into the social and cultural life of the city. Starting from the collective memories of the community, on the ground of photo documents, the film gathers together the legacy of personal stories, exploring the different shades of identity, migration and the aspirations of the people. 

The result of our research is a collective tale which brings to light  a postcolonial heritage that has been little scrutinized up to now: the everyday life stories of those who have lived in the city for years, those who were born in Italy and the daycare of the refugees who have just arrived. The film makers approach this reality empathically and get involved in it, patiently trying to create a relationship with the protagonists. 

The research and the filming of “Asmarina” lasted one year and a half and are based on direct witness accounts and the survey of audiovisual material taken from personal and institutional archives.


directed by Alan Maglio and Medhin Paolos


Michele Lettenze
Ing. Franco De’ Molinari
Berhane Woldegabriel
Kidan Fessation Woldegabriel
Elena Woldegabriel
Erminia Dell’Oro
Asli Haddas
Vito Scifo
Lalla Golderer
Massimo Mormile
Luigi “Jimmy Black” Primomo
Kidane Gaber
Tsegehans Weldeslassie
Helen Yohannes
Million Seyum “Dj Milly”

camera: Federico Giammattei / Alan Maglio

editing: Walter Marocchi

music: Clap! Clap! / Mauro Buttafava

lenght: 69 min.