Author Archive for Arts News

Lacking Shelter at Home and Abroad

Above: Ethiopian-American actor Aaron Arefe in a scene from
“Teza, which opens in New York today at Lincoln Plaza Cinema.
(Photo: Mypheduh Films)

The New York Times
MOVIE REVIEW
Teza (2008) NYT Critics’ Pick
By MATT ZOLLER SEITZ
Published: April 2, 2010

It’s all in the eyes. Remember that as you watch “Teza.”

Written and directed by the Ethiopian-born filmmaker Haile Gerima (“Sankofa,” “Ashes and Embers”) over more than a decade, this film is an autobiographical drama about a rural villager who journeys to Europe from Ethiopia and back again. He sees his country transformed from a pseudomonarchial dictatorship into an equally savage Marxist hellhole; gains an education and loses his innocence; falls in and out of love; makes and loses friends; and endures enough trauma to fill nine lives. Yet he ultimately finds reason to truly live again, rather than merely exist. Read more.

Related from Tadias Magazine:
TEZA in NYC: Showtimes and Events
A Conversation with Haile Gerima

Video: Watch the Trailer

Related:
For Filmmaker, Ethiopia’s Struggle Is His Own (The New York Times)
Teza, Portrait of an Ethiopian Exile (The Village Voice)

TEZA in NYC: Showtimes and Events

Above: Teza opens in New York today at Lincoln Plaza Cinema and there are several local events lined-up surrounding the film's NYC release (See the list below).

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Updated: Friday, April 2, 2010

New York (Tadias) – Haile Gerima’s latest movie Teza will make its New York debut today.

Here are a few local events lined-up surrounding the film’s NYC premiere:

Friday, April 2, 2010
Teza starts playing at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas
Showtimes: 11:05 AM, 1:35 PM, 4:15 PM, 7:05 PM, and 9:55 PM
Buy tickets online at: www.lincolnplazacinema.com

Friday, April 2, 2010
Opening Night Mix and Mingle
At Settepani
196 Lenox Avenue (at 120th Street)
’till 2 am | Friday 4/2/10

Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Q&A: Haile Gerima Discusses the Challenges of Independent Film-Making.
Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI)
408 West 58th Street (on 9th Avenue)
Moderator: Tigist Selam
6:30pm – 8:30pm | Wednesday 4/7/10
www.cccadi.org
RSVP – slewis@cccadi.org or call 212.307.7420 ext. 3008 for more info.

Thursday, April 8, 2010
Reception
Skoto Gallery
529 West 20th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenue)
6:30pm – 8:30pm | Thursday 4/8/10
www.skotogallery.com
Sponsors: Bati Restaurant; Sheba Tej/Tsion Enterprises LLC; Settepani

Friday, April 9, 2010
Panel Discussion: Making Teza: Narrative, Cinematography, and Music
Schomburg Library
515 Malcolm X Boulevard
Moderator: Dagmawi Woubshet | Panelists: Haile Gerima, Yemane Demissie, Danny Mekonnen
7:00pm – 9:00pm | Friday 4/9/10
www.nypl.org
RSVP@tezathemovie.com
Sponsors: In memory of Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin; Queen of Sheba Restaurant; Assegid Gessesse; abesha.com; TsehaiNY; Africalling.com

Saturday, April 10, 2010
Panel Discussion: Owning Cultural Property — Telling Our Own Stories
Dwyer Cultural Center
258 Saint Nicholas Avenue (at 123rd Street)
Moderator: Dagmawi Woubshet | Panelists: Haile Gerima, Chester Higgins, Skoto Aghahowa
7:30pm – 9:30pm | Saturday 4/10/10
www.dwyercc.org
RSVP to info@dwyercc.org or call 212-222-3060

Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Q&A: Haile Gerima Discusses Cultural Contexts of Teza
Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI)
408 West 58th Street (on 9th Avenue)
Moderator: Kassahun Checole
6:30pm – 8:30pm | Wednesday 4/14/10
www.cccadi.org
RSVP – slewis@cccadi.org or call 212.307.7420 ext. 3008 for more info.

Video: Watch the Trailer

Related:
Lacking Shelter at Home and Abroad (NYT Movie Review)
A Conversation with Haile Gerima (Tadias Magazine)
For Filmmaker, Ethiopia’s Struggle Is His Own (The New York Times)
Teza, Portrait of an Ethiopian Exile (The Village Voice)

The critically acclaimed film focuses on the tumultuous years of the Mengistu era, as told by an idealistic Ethiopian doctor who recounts dreams and nightmares.

Teza follows the personal narrative of Anberber, who after leaving Ethiopia for Germany to become a doctor, is led to return to his home village by lingering spirits and haunting visions from his childhood. Using the power of memory as its primary device, Gerima recounts the historical circumstances that have framed the context in which contemporary Ethiopia exists.

The film has already earned some prestigious awards including the Oscella Award for Best Screenplay, the Leoncino d’oro Award, SIGNIS Award, and Special Jury Prize conferred at the 2009 Venice Film Festival; the Golden Unicorn Award for Best Feature Film; the UN-World Bank Special Prize; and Golden Stallion award for Best Picture presented at the 2009 FESPACO Pan-African Film Festival.

For Filmmaker, Ethiopia’s Struggle Is His Own

Above: Haile Gerima’s new film, “Teza,” stars the Ethiopian-
American actor Aaron Arefe as a man from a small village
who goes from idealistic student to political exile.

The New York Times
By LARRY ROHTER
Published: March 29, 2010
WASHINGTON — Among the courses Haile Gerima teaches at Howard University is one called “Film and Social Change.” But for Mr. Gerima, an Ethiopian director and screenwriter who has lived here since the 1970s in what he calls self-exile, that subject is not just an academic concern: it is also what motivates him to make films with African and African-American themes. “Teza,” which opens Friday at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas in Manhattan and means “Morning Dew” in the director’s native Amharic, may be Mr. Gerima’s most autobiographical movie yet. It traces the anguished course of an idealistic young intellectual named Anberber from his origins in a small village through his years as a medical student in Europe; his return to Ethiopia, where he ends up a casualty of the Marxist military revolution that overthrew Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974; and his exile to West Germany, where he becomes a victim of racism. Read more.

Related from Tadias Magazine:
A Conversation with Haile Gerima

Video: Watch the Trailer

If you Go:
TEZA – “Morning Dew”
A film by Haile Gerima & the makers of Sankofa
Premiere Exhibition in New York City @ Lincoln Plaza Cinema
1886 Broadway (at 62nd Street)
New York, NY 10023
(212) 757-2280
Opens April 2, 2010
Multiple Daily Screenings
Learn more at: www.tezathemovie.com
Advance tickets available starting Monday, March 29th at http://www.lincolnplazacinema.com
For group rates call 917-202-9944 or email info@tezathemovie.com
To volunteer email volunteer@tezathemovie.com

The Force of Water, the Power of Words

Above: “The plot revolves around Abebe (William J. Harper),
an Ethiopian wanna-be preacher and water conservationist
out to save souls and the planet.” – New York Daily News

The New York Times
THEATER REVIEW | ‘A COOL DIP IN THE BARREN SAHARAN CRICK’
By CHARLES ISHERWOOD
Published: March 29, 2010
If words were water, the drought problems so lengthily discussed in the new play by Kia Corthron, “A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick,” would evaporate pretty quickly. The title alone would suffice for a sponge bath. The subject of water actually consumes a large portion of the dialogue in this venturesome but disjointed drama about a young African man studying theology and ecology, and the American family that harbors him during his college years. Abebe (William Jackson Harper), the idealistic central character, continually spouts dire prophecies and dismaying statistics about abusive water policy the world over, like a spigot that cannot be shut off. He rails against the World Bank’s dam-building ambitions back in his home country, Ethiopia. He reveals that while a person in the United Kingdom uses 31 gallons of water a day, an American splashes through 151. Read more.

TEZA Premieres in NYC Friday April 2nd 2010

Above: “Gerima’s powerfully universal meditation on the loss
of his homeland – on the inevitability of loss in general” –
The Washington Post

Tadias Magazine
Events News

Published: Saturday, March 27, 2010

New York – TEZA, morning dew in Amharic, tells a story of hope, loss and reminiscence through the eyes of an idealistic, young intellectual, displaced from his homeland of Ethiopia for many years. The film reflects on the fall of Emperor Haile Selassie, and on the effects of that regime change relative to Ethiopian history and society. Through a broader lens, TEZA focuses on the ways in which political upheaval and social change have impacted cultures and nations across the larger African Diaspora.

Told mainly through a series of flashbacks, TEZA follows the personal narrative of Anberber, who after leaving Ethiopia for Germany to become a doctor, is led to return to his home village by lingering spirits and haunting visions from his childhood. Using the power of memory as its primary device, TEZA recounts the historical circumstances that have framed the context in which contemporary Ethiopia exists.

The movie chronicles Anberber’s internal struggle to stay true, both to himself and to his homeland, but above all, TEZA explores the possession of memory, a right humanity mandates that each of us have – the right to own our pasts.

Video: Watch the Trailer

If you Go:
TEZA – “Morning Dew”
A film by Haile Gerima & the makers of Sankofa
Premiere Exhibition in New York City @ Lincoln Plaza Cinema
1886 Broadway (at 62nd Street)
New York, NY 10023
(212) 757-2280
Opens April 2, 2010
Multiple Daily Screenings
Learn more at: www.tezathemovie.com
Advance tickets available starting Monday, March 29th at http://www.lincolnplazacinema.com
For group rates call 917-202-9944 or email info@tezathemovie.com
To volunteer email volunteer@tezathemovie.com

Mulatu Astatke: the lounge lizard of counterpoint

At 66, Mulatu is on fire, as his seductive sound wins fans around the world. It’s all down to late nights in the hotels of Addis Ababa.

Source:Telegraph
By Peter Culshaw
Published: 24 Mar 2010

Athe age of 66, Mulatu Astatke is having the time of his life. The jazz composer and performer from Ethiopia is in the midst of a full-blown Indian summer in his career. He received a huge boost when influential film-maker Jim Jarmusch used his music for his 2005 film Broken Flowers, and was also a key figure in the 2007 The Very Best of Ethiopiques compilation, one of the most unlikely best-sellers of the last decade. Once heard, Astatke’s music is not easily forgotten. His signature vibraphone playing style uses the distinctive five-note Ethiopian scale and is like jazz from a parallel universe, by turns haunting, romantic and a touch sleazy, as though the soundtrack to some seductive espionage B-movie. Read more.

Watch: Mulatu Astatke – Ethio Jazz Retrospective (Strut)

Video: Ace to Ace interview with Mulatu Astatke

Related:
The rediscovery of Mulatu Astatke (Times Online)

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