Teza, the latest film by legendary filmmaker Haile Gerima, is receiving rave reviews from publications such as the New York Times, which writes: “[Teza] soars, thanks to Mr. Gerima’s bracingly direct storytelling.”
After a successful opening premiere in Washington D.C., Teza kicked off in New York City with an opening reception event that featured a discussion with Director Haile Gerima and actor Danny Glover. Teza is currently playing at Lincoln Plaza Cinema in New York City, the second stop in the film’s tour of the U.S.
In Teza, Haile Gerima directs a cast of mainly amateur actors into giving stellar performances. He captivates his audience with a highly engaging storyline along with breathtaking shots of Ethiopian landscapes.
The story of Teza is told through the eyes of the main character Anberber (Aaron Arefe) in a serious of flashbacks set in Ethiopia and Germany. Anberber, educated in the West, embodies the hope of the time, as a doctor who goes back to his homeland to fight diseases that plague his people. He quickly finds that operating in the new political climate would not be easy and compromising his principals would have to be necessary to save his life and the ones closest to him. Although set in Ethiopia during the 1970’s, the struggle to fulfill one’s dream embodied in Anberber is one that most people today can relate to.
Teza is made up of several colorful supporting cast members including Anberber’s mother Tadfe played by Takelech Beyene. In talking about the film, Haile Gerima recalls Takelech stating she prayed to the Virgin Mary that she wouldn’t mess up his film. The fact that she did not know how to read and write did not stop Takelech from excelling in her role. Her lines were read to her, which she then had to memorize. In Teza, Takelech gives a superb performance as she tries to grasp with the realities of what has become of her son.
Teza is a compelling film about overcoming obstacles and finding a reason to live again. It is also a film that sheds some light on the daunting dilemma that has and continues to plague most of Africa, and prevents the continent from taking a step closer to brighter days.
Now Playing at: Lincoln Plaza Cinema New York City
ShowTime: 11:05 AM, 1:35 PM, 4:15 PM, 7:05 PM, and 9:55 PM Daily