If Only I Were That Warrior


Vogue Theatre Sat, Nov 19, 2016 1:45 PM
Film Info
Running Time:72 min.
Director:Valerio Ciriaci
Producer:Valerio Ciriaci
Isaak Liptzin
Cinematographer:Isaak Liptzin
Editor:Giovanni Pompetti
Music:Francesco Venturi


On August 12, 2012, the municipality of Affile (near Rome) erected a monument dedicated to Rodolfo Graziani, a fascist general during the 1935 Ethiopian War and first viceroy of the colony. Ethiopians across the world protested. Some of his hometown compatriots still see him as a hero, while Ethiopians and many Italians revile Graziani for the war crimes he and others committed in support of Mussolini’s imperial ambitions. Director Valerio Ciriaci expertly interweaves different points of view, ordinary life stories, and archival photographs, searching for history’s repercussions as well as the facts. The film’s three main interviewees are complex and fascinating characters: Mulu Ayele, an Ethiopian Italian activist, host of a radio show, and a straight shooter who provides her community with news and information about the protests; Mauro Canali, a self-made historian living in Ethiopia, who never feels alone in that country, because he “feels the presence of the Italians who were here;” and Nicola Antonio DeMarco, a New Yorker, who is active in reconciliation and outreach efforts and whose Italian grandfather moved to Africa as a pawn in Mussolini’s plans. This thoughtful documentary (with excellent sound design) takes us on journey through the tangible and symbolic remains of the Italian occupation of Ethiopia. From the last century to the present, Ciriaci brings to life this overlooked legacy, which even now haunts the fates of two nations and their people.

Valerio Ciriaci is expected to attend

Copresented by SF DocFest

About the filmmaker

Valerio Ciriaci is a New York-based Italian documentary filmmaker. He graduated with a major in Communications from La Sapienza University in Rome, with a thesis on Jean Rouch and ethnofiction. In 2011, he moved to New York City to attend documentary classes at New York Film Academy. In 2012, he co-founded Awen Films and directed two short documentary films, Melodico and Treasure - The Story of Marcus Hook, which were selected by several festivals worldwide. If Only I Were That Warrior is his first feature-length documentary.