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Runtime: 91 minutes

Year of Production: 2024

Languages: Chinese, Amharic, English, Oromo


When a massive Chinese industrial park lands in rural Ethiopia, a dusty farming town finds itself at the new frontier of globalization. The sprawling factory complex’s formidable Chinese director Motto now needs every bit of mettle and charm she can muster to push through a high-stakes expansion that promises 30,000 new jobs. Ethiopian farmer Workinesh and factory worker Beti have staked their futures on the prosperity the park promises. But as initial hope meets painful realities, they find themselves, like their country, at a pivotal crossroads.


Filmed over four years with singular access, Made in Ethiopia lifts the curtain on China’s historic but misunderstood impact on Africa, and explores contemporary Ethiopia at a moment of profound crisis. The film throws audiences into two colliding worlds: an industrial juggernaut fueled by profit and progress, and a vanishing countryside where life is still measured by the cycle of the seasons. And its nuance, complexity and multi-perspective approach go beyond black and white narratives of victims and villains. As the three women’s stories unfold, Made in Ethiopia challenges us to rethink the relationship between tradition and modernity, growth and welfare, the development of a country and the well-being of its people.

“Directors Xinyan Yu and Max Duncan take the macro issue of China’s influence in Africa and present it provocatively… A complicated morality tale of ever-changing priorities and loyalties… A compelling narrative about how Chinese influence in Ethiopia impacts both expats and native people. The camera is patient and probing, and the story weaves in political and social context successfully… Should be able to start many conversations about these topical issues.”

– Murtada Elfadl, Variety


“[An] absorbing and fascinating documentary… [A] fascinating glimpse into modern-day Ethiopia and into two colliding worlds… An enthralling journey into a little seen part of Africa.

– Mark Adams, Business Doc Europe


"[An] unyieldingly candid and revelatory documentary…Will undoubtedly enlighten viewers and conjure many conversations.”

– MJ O’Toole, Hammer to Nail


“[The] fascinating 'Made in Ethiopia' details the domino effect of economic development… [A] captivating doc… Richly captures an entire landscape of a nation in flux.”

– Stephen Saito, The Moveable Fest


“An utterly riveting portrait of global economic growth, capturing both its successes and failures.”

– Musanna Ahmed, The Upcoming


 "A fascinating document of how economic powers manipulate using colonialist playbooks… 'Made in Ethiopia' strikes a cord and features some brilliant cinematography.”

– Alan French, Sunshine State Cineplex


"This is a great film. In an age where we are told about Chinese investment in Africa, this film shows us what that entails on some level. We see the good and the bad of it, and of corporate control in general. It's a film that beautifully tells its story, opening our eyes and making us wonder what is going to happen next.”

– Steve Kopian, Unseen Films


“Easily one of my [Tribeca] favorites… I thought it did a great job of analyzing China’s influence on Africa as well as the good, the bad and the ugly of development in the 21st century… The documentary does a fantastic job of bringing these larger elements down to earth.”

– Hamza Ali, Always Watching


Truly compelling. ‘Made in Ethiopia’ resonates because of its superb storytelling.”

– Greggory Morris, The Word


“An insightful, compelling and sociologically fascinating documentary… [An] excellent film.”

– Seth Shire & Wendy Moscow, Unpaid Film Critic


“Thoughtful and nuanced.”

– Jorge Espinoza Lasso, La Estatuilla

We are still raising funds to close our budget gap and start an impact campaign. Help us bring the film to more audiences around the world.

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