After a year of pre-production and filming, today, February 19 2014, we are launching a Kickstarter campaign for our documentary If Only I Were That Warrior. The beginning of the campaign coincides with Ethiopian Martyrs’ Day (Yekatit 12), which is observed every year to remember the many victims of Fascism in Ethiopia. We’re very excited to show you where we are now, and to get our audience involved in the film’s next steps. This campaign is a fundamental stage in the film’s path towards release, and we are confident that with your help we will be able to do justice to this fascinating and complex story.
If Only I Were That Warrior is a film about the Italian occupation of Ethiopia in 1935 and its unresolved legacy today. Driving this investigation is the story of a recently constructed monument to Rodolfo Graziani, a Fascist general remembered for war crimes committed during the intervention in Ethiopia, which sparked international protests and brought this chapter of history back to the forefront of public discourse.
After a trip to Ethiopia and Italy last summer, and some filming in New York and Dallas in the last months, we have gathered approximately 50% of the footage we need. In order to finish the film we have to continue filming in these locations, and seeing as we are based in New York, that means raising enough money to go on the road again. That is why we are reaching out with this Kickstarter campaign.
Kickstarter is a platform that allows independent artists to get in touch with their audience and pitch their projects. It’s a great way for filmmakers to find the vital funding needed to bring their work to life, and for people to directly support content they are interested in. All you have to do is click on the Back This Project button on the right hand side of the page, choose the amount you would like to donate, and then enter your information. Covering expenses such as airfare, lodging, equipment rental, and interpreters, your contributions will be instrumental in making this film a reality. And you won’t be leaving empty handed, because we have some nifty rewards lined up for our backers. Most importantly though you will be contributing to telling a story that truly deserves to be told, especially now.
The monument to Graziani has brought the subject of Italian colonialism back into the press and into a wider public conversation. The film aims to become a part of this conversation, seizing this unique opportunity to clarify the facts of the past and dispel the myths accumulated over decades of revisionism. We believe that this film can help keep alive the memory of Fascist war crimes, and in so doing be an important reminder that we have to work to defend our democratic values from the existential threat posed by xenophobic and militaristic ideals.