2014, USA-Ethiopia, 99’, Color, Amharic
Director: Zeresenay Berhane Mehari
Cast: Meron Getnet, Tizita Hagere
2014 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award
2014 Berlin Film Festival Panorama Audience Award
Angelina Jolie presents:
An intense human rights story from Ethiopia…
Three hours outside of Addis Ababa, a bright 14-year-old girl is on her way home from school when men on horses swoop in and kidnap her. The brave Hirut grabs a rifle and tries to escape, but ends up shooting her would-be husband. In her village, the practice of abduction into marriage is common and one of Ethiopia’s oldest traditions. Meaza Ashenafi, an empowered and tenacious young lawyer, arrives from the city to represent Hirut and argue that she acted in self-defense. Meaza boldly embarks on a collision course between enforcing civil authority and abiding by customary law, risking the ongoing work of her women’s legal-aid practice to save Hirut’s life. Based on a reallife story, this film goes beneath the layer of polite social customs to explore an aggressively rooted patriarchy that perpetuates inhospitable conditions for women in Ethiopia and portrays the complexity of a country’s transformation toward equal rights, featuring the courageous generation that dares to own it.