BIG ARAIA is a reclamation of a lost connection with a very personal history. For most of my life, I only knew my father’s name and the country he came from. I searched for information about my father for over a decade without any success, until an unexpected phone call from an old acquaintance opened a door that had been closed to me since birth. In this documentary, you will see me return to my father’s home, meet his family and begin to fill in the missing puzzle pieces of his past. It’s more than a personal narrative, it also symbolizes the yearning many African-Americans have to reconnect with their African roots.
This is a film about the diaspora. It’s bigger than just going to a new country to meet new people, this is the realization of a dream many African-Americans have. To find their roots and hold history in their own hands. I am lucky enough to get an opportunity to make that dream a reality, and it is an experience that is meant to be shared. Eritrea is a country few people know about. The small East African nation holds within it a people and culture that has survived an epic war and built a brighter future in its short, but extraordinary existence.