An Ethiopian Journal

"Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters"

TEZA – a film by Haile Gerima

with 3 comments

I was fortunate enough to attend the opening screening for Teza @ the Toronto International Film Festival last monday. I also had the chance to say a few words to Haile Gerima!

I admire and love this guy!!! He is such an inspiration and I love the fact that he is a true Ethiopian. His movies are always full of Ethiopian/African wisdom, anecdotes, music, philosophy.

Teza is a brilliant movie in my opinion because Haile was able to express the challenges that current Ethiopia faces: a bitter political past-ridden mentality that is disconnecting us from a unified progressive agenda. He shows the shameful disposition of a great Emperor, the rigid/blind rule of the Derg, the Diaspora challenges, and last but not least, he ends the movie with hope: Hope that Ethiopians will put their bitter past behind and move forward for the sake of the future generation. Young Ethiopians need direction, love and support. They are the future of Ethiopia. They need to learn the wisdom of their ancestors.

Thank you Haile Gerima for your movies. They heal African people. You are an African hero. You are an Ethiopian role model.     Tseday M


A powerful new film chronicles the life of an Ethiopian intellectual who flees his country during the Marxist “red terror” in the 1980s, only to be viciously attacked in Germany by racist youths.

Anberber, the central character, returns to his homeland longing for peace, but life with his mother in a small village is disrupted by armed factions dragging boys away to fight and by prying locals wary of a man they consider to be an outsider.

The story jumps between multiple timelines, but in each Anberber struggles to fit in, be it in his native Ethiopia or in exile in Germany.

Gerima said “Teza” reflected his own experiences, and was based on a recurring dream.

“The dream is basically about intellectual displacement,…When I translated my dream it was about being displaced, unable to live up to your peasant life, your peasant family and at the same time reconcile (that) with your modern world.”

Anberber seeks refuge in memories of his happy childhood, something U.S.-based Gerima said he also did whenever he returned to Ethiopia which he described as “a nightmare for me.”

“Like Anberber in the film I like to drown (in) the past.”

“I go to Ethiopia and I dream my past but the present is so powerful it continues to hijack my sentimental journey to my childhood. I think it’s the idea that you want your childhood world to come back, I think that is universal.”

“In Africa the luxury to remember memory is hijacked by daily violence, either silent violence or obvious violence.”


Written by Tseday

September 13, 2008 at 3:29 pm

Posted in Ethiopia

Tagged with , ,

3 Responses

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  1. “They need to learn the wisdom of their ancestors.”

    Well said!


    September 13, 2008 at 11:03 pm

  2. It’s a great movie! Just GREAT!


    April 21, 2009 at 10:43 am

  3. Where will I be able to get the DVD. They haven’t showed it in U.S.A. Please e-mail me.



    June 8, 2009 at 4:00 pm

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