Gravitas Ventures released the official trailer for Sweetness in the Belly directed by Zeresenay Berhane Mehari and starring Dakota Fanning, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Kunal Nayyar, and Wunmi Mosaku. The film adapted from Canadian author Camilla Gibb’s award-winning novel of the same name premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. Sweetness in the Belly will be released on VOD on May 8th.
Sweetness in the Belly tells the moving story of Lilly (Dakota Fanning), abandoned in Africa as a child. Lily is forced to flee Ethiopia for England when civil war breaks. She befriends Amina (Wunmi Mosaku), an Ethiopian refugee who has fled the same war. Together they begin a mission to reunite people with their scattered families.
After an unstable childhood spent traveling with her hippie parents, Lilly (Dakota Fanning) is abandoned in a Moroccan village, where the spiritual teachings of a Sufi master provide her with the discipline to find acceptance in the Ethiopian city where she later settles. Lilly’s orderly life is turned upside down, however, when outrage over the country’s gross disparities spills over into revolution. Lilly is forced to flee to London, where her status as a white Muslim woman makes her far more of a pariah than it ever did in Ethiopia, while at the same time granting her benefits withheld from Black refugees.
Lilly is given a job and a small apartment, which she offers to share with fellow refugee Amina (Wunmi Mosaku), a young mother expecting her second child. Lilly also volunteers with a community association that helps refugees reconnect with family members. The work suits Lilly’s innate altruism, though she has a more personal reason to access its services: she hopes to track down the idealistic doctor (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) with whom she fell in love. – via TIFF
Director Zeresenay Berhane Mehari was born and raised in Ethiopia and studied film at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles. His directorial credits include the short film Coda (06) and the feature Difret (14), which won an Audience Award at Sundance. Sweetness in the Belly (19) is his latest film.