Actress (Eritrea, 1979)
Born in Eritrea in 1979, Timnit left her own country headed to Europe on July 28, 2008, as thousands of people do every year, from one of the most oppressive regimes in Africa. After many ordeals, in Tripoli, Libya, she finally could board a raft to cross the Mediterranean Sea with 78 more people, 21 of which were children. After a while, the raft ran out of gasoline and was left drifting for 21 days. Timnit started to watch the other people dying one after another, included her friend Ester, who had been raped by Libyan guards and was pregnant, and she could survive only by drinking her own urine, as she had learned to do while doing her military service in Eritrea. Many boats passed the raft, without stopping. When the raft was finally rescued, on August 28, 2009 only five people were left alive, two of them minor of age and she was the only woman. Timnit was brought to an hospital at Palermo, and her tragic story was told by some newspapers – la Repubblica among them – with her named under the pseudonym of Titti. Some Sicilian people took care of her and took to a community in Palermo. The director Emanuele Crialese discovered her story after the news and thanks to Laura Boldrini, spokeperson of UNHCR, could meet her and convince her to play Sara in Terraferma, to be premiered in Venice Film Festival in 2011, and also starring Rubel Tsegay Abraha in the role of her son Omar.
After that, Timnit fled to Netherlands and started a family.
Terraferma (Emanuele Crialese, 2011, ff, act)
Frame taken from:
Terraferma. Dir. Emanuele Crialese. Cattleya, Regione Siciliana Dip. Turismo Sport e Spettacolo dell’Asses, Rai Cinema, Babe Films, France 2 Cinéma, Paris, Canal +, Cinécinéma, Centre National Du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée, 2011.
Contributors: Leonardo De Franceschi, with Ylenia Talevi
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