Sunday, July 08, 2007

Gudifecha - The Movie

Ah, gotta love nothing-to-do weekends. I got to see Gudifecha as well. Ok ... this one I really liked. If you've not seen the movie, beware as this may be a spoiler.

There was a weird scene that had 2 ferenj girls and the main character sitting on nicely mawed lawn, pointing and chuckling at a magazine. The audience does not get to hear their conversation. The scene appears out of nowhere and has no follow up. Very disconnected. At the end the director explains he was trying to create contrast for the end of the movie where the main character was forced to resort to traditional medicine for an abortion. He said the same dilemma if faced by somebody from the countryside would not be as disturbing, but for a girl whose world view was so much wider (he called it 'modern' which, of course, bothers me) and had all resources to afford her better medical treatment was unable to get treatment because it's illegal in Ethiopia (he failed short of pointing out the legality issue - I don't know if that was intentional). The idea was good, but it doesn't make the scene any less weird.

During a shimgilina scene where the father was being asked for his daughters hand in marriage, the father asks back the amalajoch, 'habt nibretus?' It cracked me up. It's so true - there's an awkward obsession with wealth and ancestry in our culture. I was raised to respect self-made people ... easily reinforced in my family as my parents had no 'tiliq sew' ties. A few golden times I have seen my father mention the fact that his father was a farmer in the midst of conversations where people revel in 'Tiru zer minzar'. Very inappropriate, but oh, so pleasing.

During my last visit to Ethiopia an elderly lady started quizzing me about my family. "Yeman lij nesh?" it started. What a weird question, what if i'm an orphan? I stammered. "Ay welajochish ineman nachew malete new?", she clarified. I was wondering if she taught I didn't speak Amharic well at that point. I could not bring myself to give her any answer that would satisfy tradition. I gave her my father's full name and my mom's full name. There was an awkward silence in the room. My friend who had been sitting next to me felt the need to intervene. She gave details of my parents' careers. In the end the lady said, 'Ere? Ay ine inkuan alawqachewim'. I was setting there thinking, 'Well then I can assure you my parents sure like hell don't know you.' I vaguely felt evil, but I really dislike 'who's your daddy?' and 'how much money?' questions. If it seems naughty or crude to say in bed then it should not be uttered outside under any context ;-)

Scenes I liked
- the hand washing at the trad medicine lady's home
- any scene that had the second doctor (minus the part where he spoke English - which he spoke darn well, I might add) he really played the part of a doctor well, i thought. very convincing.
- the "man neh?" tebel scene with Yoseph. Hilarious.
- the "beyesus sim" tselot scene with Yoseph. Hilarious.
- most of the lighting in the movie. It shows they put effort.

I can't believe the two main characters kissed on screen. Damn. When did I become so conservative?

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