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Ethiopia : Imperfect Journey (1996)
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Created: 5th Jun 2007
Modified: 4th Sep 2008
Haile Gerima

Imperfect Journey (1996)

1996. 88 minutes. Ethiopia. Haile Gerima. Documentary

Acclaimed Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima recalls a journey from his home town of Gonder, to the capital, Addis Ababa, during the Soviet-backed junta's regime. The road then was strewn with discarded military hardware. The junta has since fallen, the guns and tanks have disappeared. But how, he wonders, how have the people fared?

IMPERFECT JOURNEY introduces the people Gerima and Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski encounter as they survey the country. Their emerging narrative voices are Ethiopia's collective conscience. Many of the stories are harrowing but always thought provoking: mothers whose sons have been murdered by the junta; hooded men who tell of the continuing oppression even of the current regime. Successive governments have always massacred students and officials of prior administrations. A professor points out that the university in Addis Ababa has always been portrayed as a hotbed of opposition by each regime: a communist breeding ground in Haile Selassie's political scheme; reactionaries in the junta's; ethnic chauvinists for the present administration - which claims to embrace national unity.

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