Spotlight: New Ethiopia Film ‘Yenegen Alwoldim’ Screens in NYC

The movie screening of 'Yenegen Alwoldim' at University Settlement Houston Street Center in New York city on December 10th, 2017 will include a Q&A session with the producer Fortuna Moges. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

December 4th, 2017

New York (TADIAS) — This month a new award-wining Amharic drama from Ethiopia entitled Yenegen Alwoldim by filmmaker Fortuna Moges will screen in New York City. Sponsored by ECMAA (Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association) the event is scheduled to be held on Sunday, December 10th and will also feature a Q&A with the filmmaker as well as remarks by Dr. Shimelis Bonsa from New York State University.

The film, which is based on a true story, takes place in 1978 in Addis Ababa and is a reflection on how young people coped and used sports to conceal their political activities during the height of the Red Terror period, an era memorialized for its brutal Bolshevik style elimination of real and perceived ideological opponents by Marxist cadres of the Derg regime.

Fortuna Moges says the movie is an adaptation of an Amharic book called EPRP and Sport. “Even though the setting is mainly in Addis Ababa in 1978, the story represents the youth of the period,” Fortuna explains in her artist’s statement. “The lead character, Adugna, is a coach of Abri Kokeb football club, financially supported by Mercato merchants. Adugna is married and lives with the love of his life Lensa, a beautiful young lady who has witnessed the tragic killings of her father and only brother by revolutionary guards and subsequently suffers a miscarriage. Lensa then becomes pregnant again and Adugna is excited to be a father.”

Sadly Adugna — who dreamt of building a successful club and had no interest in politics — ends up getting ensnared anyways in the toxic social environment simply because of his association with the players that he coaches, the majority of whom happen to be secret members of the Ethiopian People Revolutionary Party (EPRP), the main opponent of the ruling Derg. They “use football as their only cover to survive and overthrow Derg,” Fortuna says. “They left no stone unturned to realize their political vision.”

Fortuna who was born and raised in Ethiopia studied film and art at Addis Ababa University where she earned her undergraduate degree.

“We see the life of that generation through the ups and downs of Adugna,” She says speaking of her debut film Yenegen Alwoldim.


If You Go
ECMAA presents screening of ‘Yenegen Alwoldim’
December 10th, 2017 @ 3pm
University Settlement at the Houston Street Center
Address: 273 Bowery, New York, NY 10002
Tickets and more info at www.ecmaany.org

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