The Ethiopian intellectual Anberber returns to his native country during the repressive totalitarian 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 several years spent studying medicine in Germany, he finds 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 its own political ends. Seeking the comfort of his countryside home, Anberber finds no refuge from violence. The solace that the memories of his youth provide is quickly replaced by the competing forces of military and rebelling factions. Anberber needs to decide whether he wants to bear the strain or piece together a life from the fragments that lie around him. —IMDb
Gerima was born and raised in Gondar, Ethiopia, where he sat around the fire engrossed in the tales told by parents and grandparents. His father, a dramatist and playwright who traveled across the Ethiopian countryside staging local plays, was perhaps his greatest influence, nurturing a love of the art.
He immigrated to the United States in 1968, at the age of twenty-one, with an interest in theatre. In Chicago, he enrolled in acting classes at the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago. “When I was growing up,” he reveals in the Los Angeles Times, “I wanted to work in theatre—it never occurred to me I could be a filmmaker because I was raised on Hollywood movies that pacified me to be subservient. Film making isn’t encouraged or supported by the Ethiopian government.” He felt limited by theatre and was resigned, notes Francoise Pfaff, to “subservient roles in Western plays.” By 1970 he had discovered “the power of cinema.”
He migrated to California to attend the University… read more