Sunday, July 08, 2007

My First Time ...

... watching an Ethiopian movie was today. Well, it was really yesterday and today. Yesterday I couldn't keep my eyes open long enough to finish it so technically the end was today. In all due fairness, I hope this doesn't make it seem like it failed to captivate my attention. I started watching the movie at around 12:30AM and as an early bloomer arogit, that was way past my bed time.

That and the movie didn't captivate me. Ok. That was a very round about way of admitting that I was bored.

It was called Semayawi Feres. When I bought it I asked the sales lady at the movie store to suggest the best two habesha movies. She didn't bat an eylid when she picked Semayawi Feres and Gudifecha. After I bought the movies her selection was endoresed by a random second and third.

I have not yet seen Gudifecha, but of Semayawi Feres I have to ask/note:

a) Why 'Semayawi Feres'? The plot is about a development document regarding Abay. I didn't see any feres nor anything that reminded me of blue in the movie, literally and figuratively. Does Semayawi Feres have a symbolic significance in our clutre that i'm unaware of?

b) What's with the background music in the midst of a dialogue? Like I said, kalegizeye arjichaleu and I sure like hell couldn't hear some of the stuff that was being said. Thank god for the subtitles in English, which brings me onto my third question ...

c) What's with the English (not the subtitles ... which I wasn't expecting but whatever. In fact I've to give mad props for some of the semi-normal translations) all over the place? Guramayle Amarigna is so 20th scentury ... even by Ethiopian calender. I mean, habesha set pleading with her man, 'pliss, iskindirye, pliiiiiiiiiis ... ", right in front of Tis Abay? Abay aTint binorew'na biQeber, meqabru wust yigelabeT neber.

d) so the theme can be summed up as, some engineer devised a way to perform controlled evaporation from the Nile to generate precipitation. He came form London to present his findings to the Ethiopian government, but there're bad guys who want to intercept his work. Somewhere in there it's implied that the guy has only one copy of the document even though he sports his laptop on a field trip. So the part I don't get is, to what end were the 'bad' guys itching to get their hands on this 'study'?

e) I found it interesting that the main female character, Firehiwot, was imprisoned for having written provocative material that irked the government. Absence of freedom of speech in a movie plot ... I can dig that.

f) There was a car in one of the scenes that undoubtedly was the worst air pollution offender I'd ever seen - worse than Trenta quatros and lonchinas back home. If that was a statement being made by the producers, mad props. If not, that car needs to be banned off movie sets and all roads.

'nuff for today.

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