Based a true story, MIRKOGNA follows Fre, a politically naïve young woman who falls in love with a resistance fighter and for the first time finds sense in her life when she joins the student movement against the brutal regime that took over Ethiopia in the 1970s and wiped out an entire generation of young men and women. When she is captured, Fre is confronted with the ultimate choice between sacrifice and survival.

MIRKOGNA dives into a world where for the young protagonist and her friends, love, money, career, family and personal needs come second - what comes first is revolution. Students as young as sixteen live like spies, dressing up, jumping from roofs, hiding in tunnels and forests, communicating with codes and developing extraordinary discipline. Identified by the regime as the biggest threat, they know one false move can end their lives, yet enjoy every second of it with the absolute passion of who just begins to discover it in all its beauty - and horror.

Konjit Birhan's homonymous novel is based on her own experiences during this era of the “Red Terror”, and has been acclaimed as a universal story of love, passion and self-finding, of choices and personal sacrifices, and the essence of being human.

"It doesn’t matter how much I want to make them win - they can’t, because history knows the facts, they lost and with them, Ethiopia too has lost. But Fre and her companions won my heart. I can only hope I will do their story justice on the screen, so they can win some more hearts," says director Hiwot Admasu Getaneh.

One of the few Ethiopian filmmakers in the international scene, Hiwot learned the art of storytelling from her grandmother. Her previous works were screened at many festivals around the world. MIRKOGNA will be Hiwot's first feature film, and OutreMer's return to drama.

MIRKOGNA - THE CAPTIVE

written & directed by

HIWOT ADMASU GETANEH

 

based on the novel by

KONJIT BIRHAN

 

produced by

DIRK VAN DEN BERG

feature film

Germany / Ethiopia

2018