Directors: Abraham Gezahagne, fortuna Mogus
Writer: Abraham gezahagne

  • COUNTRY : Ethiopia

FULL DESCRIPTION

It began with the 1974 revolution which overthrew the country’s last Emperor Haileselassie.Hailemariam Mengistu and the other military officers who led the coup then refused to hand over power to a civilian government, enraging leftist student activists.These students launched a campaign of “White terror” for democratic change and the overthrow of the military junta. Hundreds of officials and supporters from the new military government were assassinated. The military government retaliated with what was later dubbed the “Red Terror”, eliminating real and imagined enemies of the “revolution” and the country.The main character is a football coach played by Berhanu Degafe, uses his job as an escape from the danger of forcible recruitment into a local government approved security force.He trains his players on roads littered with dumped bodies of “anti-revolutionaries” and anti-government leaflets as he tries to juggle family disapproval with his desire to build a great football team at a dangerous time.At a time when every young man not affiliated with government-approved structures risked torture and death, with a round-the-clock curfew in place to monitor illegal activities, it wasn’t long before the football team’s “rising stars” were under government surveillance.Eventually many of the young players of the football club are put in jail and tortured, while the coach’s wife urges him to quit his passion.But not before one last assignment where his players’ tormentors coerce him into a bizarre match between a government-approved team and his team of rising stars. If he doesn’t agree to the match he will be killed or imprisoned, he knows.The match ends with the coach’s team winning against the government favorites, annoying government officials.While the “Red Terror” period is etched in many people’s minds through personal memories, or tales of survivors or of relatives of the dead, and a “martyr’s monument” in the middle of the capital city Addis Ababa, “Ye Negen Alewdem” is one of the few films to date to turn this particularly harrowing part of Ethiopia’s often troubled past into cinema.

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