Haile Gerima Kicks Off Crowdfunding Campaign for New Film ‘Yetut Lij’

The award-winning director Haile Gerima is working on a new film called 'Yetut Lij.' (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

New York (TADIAS) — The verbatim, Amharic-to-English, translation of Yetut Lij is “Child of the Breast,” but the actual meaning of the Ethiopian saying refers to a young person who is provided for by an adoptive family. The expression is also the title of an upcoming film by the acclaimed independent filmmaker Haile Gerima, who launched an online crowdfunding campaign this week to help finance a production that “intimates the harsh and complex realities” encased in the phrase: Yetut Lij.

According to the Indiegogo campaign “the story takes place in 1960’s Ethiopia, 20 years after the Italian occupation. Aynalem, a 13-year-old peasant girl, gets adopted by a wealthy judge’s family and taken away from her own, with the promise of an educated upbringing and a better life. Contrary to this promise, she is instead forced to work as a domestic servant. Yet, despite the close watch and cruelty of her employers, she meets and falls in love with an ordinary police man, named Tilahun. Though, he manages to help her escape her circumstances, Tilahun finds Aynalem years later, in the clutches of another formidable captor.”

The film is a “fictional drama with very real implications about human rights, specifically the right to love in the face of local and global forces” says Gerima. “Though, the film is set in Ethiopia, Aynalem [the movie's main character] for me, represents a vulnerable population of women and girls, who are trafficked exploited and enslaved all over the world.”

“As I dedicate myself to this story, I want you to claim it as your own,” Gerima says. “If you believe in it, stand for it. Support the campaign, and spread the word. Let’s make a film, together.”

You can learn more and support the project at Indiegogo.com.

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