Namibian Premiere: "Teza" by Haile Gerima, WED, 12. September 2012, 18h30 , FNCC, Free Entrance
On Wednesday, 12. September 2012, 18h30 AfricAvenir presents the Namibian Premiere of the outstanding Masterpiece and multiple awards winner "Teza" (Ethiopia/Germany 2008, Amharic, with English subtitles) by world reknown independent filmmaker Haile Gerima at FNCC (free entrance). Set during the repressive regime of Ethiopian dictator Haile Mariam Mengistu, "Teza" unfolds through the eyes of a German-educated intellectual who returns to his homeland full of naive idealism after the deposition of Haile Selassie. "Both intimate and sprawling in its scope and reach... a remarkable portrait of the tortured political and social history that Ethiopia suffered in the last decades of the 20th century." Ted Fry, Seattle Times.
Wednesday, 12. September 2012, 18h30
Venue: FNCC, 118 Robert Mugabe Avenue
Teza is set in Germany and Ethiopia, and examines the displacement of African intellectuals, both at home and abroad, through the story of a young, idealistic Ethiopian doctor, Anberber. The film chronicles Anberber’s internal struggle to stay true, both to himself and to his homeland, but above all, Teza explores the possession of memory – a right humanity mandates that each of us have – the right to own our pasts.
After studying medicine abroad in Germany for several years, Anberber returns home to Ethiopia only to find his beloved Ethiopia, and soon the quiet of his dreams, stifled and disarrayed by the country’s political tumoil.
Seeking escape from the center of violence, Anberber turns to the solace of his countryside childhood home, but quickly realizes that there is no shelter there. The competing forces of the military and opposition factions usurp the comfort he thought the memories of his youth would invoke.
"Blending thumbnail sketches of 20th-century European and African history, intimate personal drama, nightmares, hallucinations and meditative landscape shots, Mr. Gerima’s film has all the hallmarks of a career summation" NY Times
"Gerima's film stands as a richly expansive portrait of a man caught between an untenable exile and the terrible consequences of his homeland's violent past."
Village Voice, Andrew Schenker
"“Teza,” Haile Gerima’s award winning film, is the kind of cinema that is a beginning. It will summon the viewer to want to know more, but most of all, to understand the story’s larger historical questions." Brian Gilmore, EbonyJet.com
"...it soars... the movie never degenerates into a laundry list of pet issues because Mr. Gerima's sensibility is humanist and fundamentally decent and sane." Matt Zoller Seitz, New York Times, 04/02/10
"...it's the movie's powerful personal story that carries the viewer along.... a powerfully universal meditation on the loss of his homeland -- on the inevitability of loss in general..." Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post, 09/18/09
"Both intimate and sprawling in its scope and reach... a remarkable portrait of the tortured political and social history that Ethiopia suffered in the last decades of the 20th century." Ted Fry, Seattle Times, 04/30/10
"It's been a long time since an African film has to this extent drawn us into the epic." Oliver Barlet, Africultures
About the director:
Haile Gerima is an independent filmmaker of distinction who has served as a distinguished professor of film at Howard University in Washington D.C. since 1975. Born in Ethiopia, Gerima is perhaps best known as the writer, producer, and director of the acclaimed 1993 film “Sankofa”.
Following in the footsteps of his father, a dramatist and playwright, Gerima studied acting in Chicago before entering UCLA film school, 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). This formally ambitious tale of a plantation slave revolt was ignored by U.S. distributors, but Gerima tapped into African American communities, and booked sold-out screenings in independent theaters around the country.
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 and the Golden Stallion at the PanAfrican Film Festival FESPACO in 2009. He also lectures and conducts workshops in alternative screenwriting and directing both within the U.S. and internationally.
- FESPACO 2009 – Golden Stallion of Yennenga for Best Film, UN Fight Against Poverty Prize, Zain Prize
- Venice Film Festival 2008 – Special Jury Prize, Osella For Best Screen Play, CinemAvvenire Award
- Carthage Film Festival 2008 – Golden Tanit, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography
- Rotterdam Film Festival 2009 – Dioraphte Award
- CinemAfrica Film Festival 2009 – CinemAfrica Film Festival Prize
- Thessaloniki Film Festival in Greece 2009 – The human Values Award
- Dubai International Film Festival 2009 – Best Composer Award