The Wild Years

The Wild Years

The Wild Years

2013, Spain / Ethiopia, 55' & 70', Ventura Durall

2013, Spain / Ethiopia, 55' & 70', Ventura Durall

The Wild Years

Synopsis

Three kids. In the streets of a city in Africa. A mafia-like gang. Fights. The smallest kid kills his stepmother. The kids flee: the journey begins.

 

In Addis Abeba, the Ethiopian capital, over 270.000 street kids live without their parents and almost forgotten by law and society. Daniel, a boy from the countryside, is 9 years old when he arrives in the city. He meets Habtom and Yohannes, both aged 12, who live in an abandoned car. They first don’t want to accept him in their group but after they overcome some initial conflicts they eventually become friends.

Together, they share the hard life in the city. They lead adult lives – although they are still children. But they are smart and inventive and manage to survive on petty thefts.A year passes by. When homesickness, feelings of responsibility and the problems with the rivalling gang of street kids increase to an intolerable level they decide to return to their poor home villages to visit their parents whom they left behind many years ago. Like little stones that are taken away with the river they start the long journey towards the north of the vast and unknown country, by bus, boat, hitchhiking and by foot.

Our little heroes meet a girl who is also on her way to reunite with her family. They share some days of friendship and complicity. However, sexual tensions between the girl and the two older boys soon arise. She tells them her views on the boys’ lives and questions the values they have got used to accept as their own. The girl finally decides to split and continue on her own.

Meanwhile we discover more of Daniel’s personality and its ever more complex and darker sides. He confesses having killed his stepmother and that this is the true reason why he is fleeing from Addis Abeba. The three boys buy expensive presents for their families and then also separate – Daniel and Habtom head towards Habtom’s home village where his mother is awaiting him, Yohannes continues on his own to meet his father. When they finally reach their destinations, they realise that more things have changed since they last saw their parents than they expected.

 

IDFA Feature Length Competition | Festival de cine español de Málaga | Planete Doc Film Festival | Documentamadrid 2014 | 20th Shangai TV Festival - Best Photography Award for Mauro Herce | Filmfest Munchen | Argentina Festival Internacional de Cine Político