October, 26, 2019 | 18.00
Africa Hall, Sharjah, UAE
Director: Haile Gerima
Duration: 140 mins
Country: Ethiopia and Germany
Language: Amharic and English with English subtitles
Teza, set in Ethiopia and Germany, chronicles the return of the African intellectual Anberber to his country of birth during the repressive Marxist regime of Haile Mariam Mengistu and the recognition of his own displacement and powerlessness at the dissolution of his people’s humanity and social values. After Anberber spends several years in Germany studying medicine, he returns to Ethiopia only to find the country of his youth replaced by turmoil. His dream of using his craft to improve the health of Ethiopians is squashed by a military junta that uses scientists for their own political ends. Seeking the comfort of his countryside home, Anberber finds no shelter from violence. The solace that the memories of his youth provide is quickly replaced by the competing forces of the military and rebelling factions. Anberber must determine if he can bear the strain or piece together a life from the fragments that lay around him.
Haile Gerima is a renowned independent filmmaker and professor of film at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Born and raised in Ethiopia, Gerima emigrated to the United States in 1967. He studied acting in Chicago before entering the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, where his exposure to Latin American films inspired him to mine his own cultural legacy. After completing his thesis film, Bush Mama (1975), Gerima received international acclaim with Harvest: 3000 Years (1976), an Ethiopian drama that won the Grand Prize at the Locarno film festival. After the award-winning Ashes & Embers (1982) and the documentaries Wilmington 10—U.S.A 10,000 (1978) and After Winter: Sterling Brown (1985), Gerima filmed his epic, Sankofa (1993), one of the first feature films to represent American slavery. In 1996, Gerima founded the Sankofa Video and Bookstore in Washington, DC., a cultural and intellectual space that offers opportunities for self-expression, interaction, discussion and analysis through community events such as film screenings, book signings, scholar forums and artist showcases. Gerima continues to distribute and promote his own films, including his most recent festival success, Teza (2008), which won the Jury and Best Screenplay awards at the Venice Film Festival.