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(Chicago Tribune) "In My Mother's House" a documentary film by Eritrean-American author Lina Fruzzetti

Posted by: Biniam Tekle

Date: Wednesday, 19 April 2017

From the community:

Domiican University Presents Documentary "In My Mother's House"

Community Contributor jmack01

Dominican University alumna Lina Fruzzetti was born in 1942 to an Eritrean mother and Italian father who served as an engineer in Mussolini's army and died shortly after World War II. A startling email, received in 2005, indicates that if the attached photo is her father, she and the sender are cousins. The email prompts a decade-long quest to learn more about the father she barely knew and her newly discovered Italian relatives-a quest that culminated in a documentary titled "In My Mother's House." Dominican University will present this documentary and a discussion by Fruzzetti on Thursday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the Martin Recital Hall, 7900 W. Division Street.

Lina Fruzzetti was born in Italian-ruled Eritrea and, shortly after WWII, moved with her mother to Sudan where she attended a Catholic boarding school. She emigrated to the U.S. to attend Rosary College (precursor to Dominican University), where she majored in economics. After joining the anthropology department at Brown University in 1975, she became the institution's first black tenured professor. The focus of her research is on kinship, marriage, ritual and gender constructs in India and North and East Africa. She also has done extensive comparative research on nationalism, post-colonial studies and the feminist movement.

The author of four books, Fruzetti also has made, with her husband, Akos Ostor, five films, of which "In My Mother's House" is the most recent. While ostensibly focusing on the life of her mother, the film explores the repercussions of colonial rule in Africa and the lasting impact of migration and diaspora in Europe and the United States. The film, which captures the intimate conversations and daily lives of Fruzzetti's far-flung family, deftly reveals conflicting cultural expectations across the world. Completed earlier this year, "My Mother's House" has been screened throughout the U.S., India, Britain and Italy.

The film is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Alysha Biehl at

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