Lamb

Director: Yared Zeleke
Countries: Ethiopia
Year: 2015
Running Time: 94min.
Language: Amharic with English subtitles

lamb---photo-7

When Ephraim, an Ethiopian boy, is sent from his homeland to live with distant relatives, he takes his beloved sheep with him. One day, his uncle announces that he will have to sacrifice his sheep for the upcoming religious feast, but Ephraim is ready to do anything to save his only friend and return home.

Price of Love

Director: Hermon Hailay
Countries: Ethiopia
Year: 2015
Running Time: 99min.
Language: Amharic with English subtitles

Teddy, the son of a prostitute who grew up on the streets after his mother’s death, desperately tries to avoid the temptation of his old ways of chewing khat and drinking. His only support system is his priest, who bought him a taxi license on the condition that he live a decent life away from his past. But after Teddy intervenes in a fight between a prostitute, Fere, and her ex-boyfriend, who sells women to “work” in the Middle East, his taxi is stolen by the latter as leverage. As a result, Teddy finds himself caught up in a relationship with Fere, and during the search for the car, they discover the price of love.

Red Leaves

Director: Bazi Gete
Countries: Israel
Year: 2014
Running Time: 80 min.
Language: Amharic and Hebrew with English subtitles

redleaves

Meseganio Tadela, 74, immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia 28 years ago with his family. He has chosen to zealously retain his culture, talks very little, and hardly speaks Hebrew. After losing his wife, Meseganio sets out on a journey that leads him through his children’s homes. He comes to realize that he belongs to a rapidly disappearing class that believes in retaining Ethiopian culture. As this harsh reality begins to hit him, he struggles to survive according to his own rules.

The Dance of King David

Director: Axel Baumann
Country: Ethiopia and USA
Year: 2011
Running Time: 33 min.
Language: English and Amharic

The film is based on a dance King David performed in front of the Ark over 3000 years ago and which is still practiced today during the Jewish festival of Simchat Torah and the festival of Timkat in Ethiopia. The film is a beautiful journey through the ancient and modern worship of this object.

Lezare

Also Known As: For Today
Director: Zelalem Woldemariam
Country: Ethiopia
Year: 2009
Running Time: 15 min.
Language: Amharic

Lezare is a revealing and touching story about a homeless boy in a small village in southern Ethiopia, using beautiful visuals to deliver a powerful message about global warming and shortsightedness.

Jeans and Martò

Directors: Claudia Palazzi and Clio Sozzani
Countries: Ethiopia / Italy
Year: 2011
Running Time: 52 min.
Languages: Amharic / Afaan Oromo

The story of a young Ethiopian pastoralist who escapes his arranged marriage to fulfill a dream. An apparently normal student who is willing to reach a balance between his tribe’s customs and the dream of becoming an educated man. A life straddled between tradition and modernity, and a commitment to discover the good in both.

Meteni: The Lost One

Director: Wondessen Deresse
Country: Ethiopia
Year: 2002
Running Time: 30 min.
Language: Amharic

meteni

Meteni is a young Afar woman with two small children. The Afars are nomads who move with their herds through northeastern Ethiopia, the hottest region on earth. Meteni’s husband lets her move there by herself, while he walks to town to buy chat, a narcotic leaf. Alone, Meteni dismantles the house, moving it and all the family’s possessions by camel to a new campsite. When she becomes pregnant, she continues her punishing workload with disastrous consequences.

Menged

Director: Daniel Taye Workou
Country: Ethiopia
Year: 2006
Running Time: 21 min.
Language: Amharic

Menged1

A short film adaptation of a well-known Ethiopian folk tale about a father and son traveling through the countryside to the market.

Harvest 3000 Years

Director: Haile Gerima
Country: Ethiopia
Year: 1975
Running Time: 150 min
Language: Amharic

Harvest 3000 Years

Based in the U.S., Haile Gerima returned to his native Ethiopia to shoot this massive, staggering reflection on Ethiopia amidst the collapse of Haile Selassie’s uncaring regime prior to the military takeover.

Tenants work in various capacities on a farm riddled with echoes of feudal colonialism.Work is treated neutrally; it isn’t sanctified, in the silent Soviet manner, or identified with oppression. Rather, it is the landlord, equipped with an absolute sense of entitlement, and the social structure he represents that attach oppressed lives to the farm laborers. Indolent (he even has to be “shoed” by a servant to be ready for church), the landlord berates the shoeless farmers for indolence—a charge that images of their field and other labor piercingly refute.

The Father

Director: Ermias Woldeamlak
Country: Ethiopia
Year: 2000
Running Time: 30 min
Language: Amharic

During the Derg Period in Ethiopia, artist Alazar provides safety for his politically involved friend Jonas. There is a heavy personal price for Alazar and his wife, Rahel, to pay for his action.  Alazar ends up in prison, but is eventually released. This film examines his life and the sudden reasons that lead up to his death.

Deluge: Ye Wonz Maibel

Director: Salem Mekuria
Country: Ethiopia
Year: 1996
Running Time: 61 min.
Language: Amharic

Deluge is a visual essay that tells the story of Ethiopian students and their struggle to bring change in the political and social landscape during the 1970’s. It is a tale in which the children of this ancient land abandoned their history, culture and identity and pinned their hopes on a foreign ideology.

Blood Is Not Fresh Water

Director: Theo Eshetu
Country: Ethiopia, Italy, and the UK
Year: 1998
Running Time: 56 min.
Language: English, Amharic, and Italian

Blood Is Not Fresh Water is the documentary of a passionate journey in Ethiopia, the director’s land of origin. Through a portrait of the filmmaker’s grandfather, Ato Tekle-sadik Mekuria, Ethiopia’s most renowned historian, the story attempts to bypass Eurocentric concepts of Ethiopia by exploring ideas of Ethiopia’s origin and the nature of identity. The story goes continually backwards in time, from the present to Ethiopia’s colonial past, from its origin myth to the paleo-anthropological discovery of Lucy, the first human being. It does all this with a light hearted and humorous approach that is both sympathetic and compassionate and sees the more serious problems of present day Ethiopia within its unexpectedly rich cultural context.

The 11th Hour

Director: Zelalem Woldemariam
Country: Ethiopia
Year: 2006
Running Time: 90 min.
Language: Amharic and English

Capture

Ephrem – a professional photographer – meets Gemmet during an assignment and a love story unfolds between the two. It is not before long that a beautiful girl is born and everything seems bright, until an accident changes everything.