This film is part of Free

The Return of an Emperor: The Story of Ethiopia

This b&w film documents the return of Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, following exile to England from 1936-41 during the Italian occupation of his country.

War 1942 9 mins


The film describes the cultural impact of the Italian invasion and the arrival of British forces, consisting of Ethiopian-backed African and South African colonial troops, with the return of the Emperor in January 1941, via Sudan. The film culminates with the Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement, which marked the liberation of the first country to have been overtaken by the Axis Powers in WWII.

Processed at the studios of African Film Productions Limited, Killarney, the film was narrated by Wensley Pithey, the South-African born character actor. Direction, photography and commentary were by Guy Johnson, assisted by Eric Blanckhart. The impact of Italy’s defeat is presented through the challenge facing Italian civilians, who were either repatriated to Italy or placed in internment camps in British Africa. The film, shown to public audiences presented a positive development in the war against Germany and Italy.