At the time, it could be dangerous to sing the song. Shigey habuni, give me back my flame. The flame stood for Eritrea, a region that strove for independence. Tewolde Redda, the composer and singer of the song, performed it for the first time in 1967 in the Odeon cinema in the current capital Asmara. The audience went berserk and wanted to hear it again and again. After a long struggle for freedom, Eritrea gained independence in 1993, but the singer and popular hero now lives in Rotterdam, just like other Eritreans who reminisce in the film about the war years and the song about the flame. A musician, a blind ex-soldier and his daughter, an architectural draughtsman and his wife: they all still sing Shigey habuni. Except Tewolde Redda. The man with his guitar who used to look like the Eritrean Elvis Presley now starts to weep when he thinks about how things ended. We can only surmise as to the exact ins and outs. Politics is a subject that still calls for prudence, someone explains.

Credits

Director
Producer
Sound editing
Sound Design
Production company
Cobos Films BV
TV company
RTV Rijnmond
Distributor NL
Cobos Films BV

Title: Shigey mijn vlam
Year: 2009
Duration : 1 hour, 4 minutes
Category: Long Documentary
Edition: NFF 2009

NFF Archive

You are now in the NFF Archive. The archive contains contains information on film, TV and interactive productions that were screened at past festival editions. The NFF does not dispose of this material. For this, please contact the producer, distributor or broadcaster. Sometimes, older films can also be found at the Eye Film Museum or the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision.