haile gerima's teza


Met Haile Gerima at a screening of his new film, Teza, at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.

It isn't perfect--no film ever is--but if it comes to your town, go see it.

Not because it's poetic and political; spoken in English, German and Amharic; and mines the experiences from Gerima's Ethiopian childhood, the revolutionary expats in communist East Germany, and Mengistu's terror regime. Those are all really great reasons to see the film, but not the one I find most compelling: it represents what is possible when you persist in reaching a distant dream.

Even after the success of Sankofa, a thriving career as an independent filmmaker, and a teaching post at Howard, it still took Gerima fourteen years to raise funding for Teza, to find a producer who supported the telling of this story.

And that's both the reality and great mystery of filmmaking.

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