City of Dreams (2006)
2006. 52 minutes. Eritrea. Directed By: Ruby Ofori & Edward Scott. Documentary
In ‘City of Dreams’ architect Naigzy Gebremedhin takes the audience on a tour of his beloved city, Asmara, showcasing the stunning rationalist architecture left by Italian colonizers from the 1930s, and the lifestyle of Asmarinos living in and around these buildings. Inspired by Mussolini’s dream of recreating the Roman Empire in Africa, Asmara and her architectural splendours now symbolize something opposite to what the Fascist regime had in mind. The city has survived 30 years of civil war but may now become a victim of the decaying effects of poverty and time. ‘City of Dreams’ explores the ambiguities of the city’s architectural legacy which, though treasured by her inhabitants, also holds bitter memories of racial segregation, memories that are recalled through personal testimony and stunning archival footage.