Giulia Amati is an Italian-French filmmaker. She has directed several commercials for corporations, NGOs and International organizations such as FAO and Caritas International. In 2010 she co-directed the feature-length documentary This Is My Land… Hebron with Stephen Natanson, which won more than twenty awards, including the Italian foreign press association’s Golden Globe Prize, and earned a special mention at the Nastri D’Argento. Shashamane is Amati’s second feature-length film.
Making The Film
It took 3 years of investigation, 3 months of fact-finding trips and 6 months of sharing the homes and the lives of the men and women in 3 different continents to tell this story. I filmed in Shashamane in Ethiopia, Kingston in Jamaica, and Birmingham and London in Great Britain. The community that I present contains the descendants of the enslaved Africans who grew up in the technological, modern and contradictory West but who decided to return to Africa through a complex physical and spiritual journey. The documentary gives us a look into their lives, but from within the community itself.
The realisation of Shashamane became my personal test. Apart from the difficulty of filming by myself in a remote location in Ethiopia, the biggest challenge was to be accepted by the inhabitants of the community, who avoid contact with the media and gazes from the outside. I lived with them, shared their meals and daily lives, listened to their stories and told my own with honesty.