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The Movie: Zeyregefet Embaba (A Flower that remains intact) and its impact on Eritrean movies

The Movie: Zeyregefet Embaba (A Flower that remains intact) and its impact on Eritrean movies.

By Michael Seium

As most of us Eritreans know by now the entertainment, film, movie, or Video industry whichever term you would like to use seems to be flourishing at a very fast rate in Eritrea. The culture of Cinema has been a part and parcel of the Eritrean society. Dramas are a very important part of our daily lives. Even the soap operas that are displayed on ERI-TV (Eritrean Television) have their roles in sending important messages, which brings me to why I would like to share a very important message to all of you who follow Eritrean movies.

As most of you may be aware last month a new movie titled “Zeyregefet Embaba” loosely translated as “A Flower that remains intact” was released to the international audience of Eritrean film lovers. The Director also a well know actor Tadesse Oqbazghi (AKA AMERICA) who has been working on this film for a long time had a screening and an opening event in the Washington D.C area. What I want to emphasize is that it took the film almost 2 years to be completed because it was filmed in the USA as well as Eritrea. Many of you may not be aware that the shooting of a film in one location, let alone two locations by gathering some of the best actors within Eritrea and personalities from the DC area community is no easy task. The coordination as well as the amount of money and resources put into the film can be very stressful unless you have a strong backing. It is with this in mind that I urge everyone to support the screening of the movies, which will soon be displayed around the USA. All the way from sea to shining sea and in between this spectacular movie will be available to Eritrean communities across the USA. Look for information to be displayed within your communities in the coming days. Meanwhile for our communities to tell our own stories we must all support each others work in one form or another and by purchasing the DVDs which can come in handy during special holidays or bad weather situations like we had in the DC area this weekend.

With Technology changing and videos being easily uploaded on social media sites like You Tube and other means, it is important that the producers get some type of support from their followers or the movie industry can easily die, thus taking away an avenue for telling our stories. While some may not agree with the movies themes the fact remains that stories are being told and they must continue to be told. Movies are as much a human product as, say, newspapers are. They are made by and about people in particular within social and historical contexts. Movies can tell us a lot about all aspects of social life. In fact, because movies are easily accessible, relatively inexpensive, and often a lot of fun, they are in many ways an ideal sociological data resource for the future generations of Eritreans living at home and abroad.

Without going into details the movie “Zeyregefet Embaba” is a story that cuts through the heart of our community and may be it can have an impact on how members of our own communities can learn from the impacts of certain behaviors, which are not acceptable in our decent society. Being honest with yourself and respecting the livelihood of your people and especially women who can pass for your mother, sister, or daughter is one of the very important roles that we inherited from our forefathers and recently from the very Eritrean struggle for independence where women played just as much role as men in helping Eritrea to get its independence. This movie shows us how we can rethink family values and respect for our society. Don’t get me wrong we all have our opinions, however although movies can be mirrors to society, they are far from perfect reflections. Often they systematically distort social realities. Movies can therefore teach us a lot about the prejudices, ideologies, and misconceptions of particular times and places. So, In order to tell our own stories we must continue to support our filmmakers, directors, actors and communities.

Tadesse “America” Oqbazghi who also has been involved within the ENHOC (Eritrean National Holidays Organizing Committee) since his arrival from Eritrea where he was a well know actor/director must be appreciated for all that he has done and the best way to do it is to go watch his film as it is being displayed throughout your communities in North America. Meanwhile you can also purchase the movie for support instead of utilizing new technology, which can be illegally uploaded. Let us support our Eritrean actors, filmmakers, directors and all who have been kind enough to help us maintain our values and culture as a society.

It is also to be reminded that we have lost Woynihareg “Beki” Haile one of the most beloved actors of our history in the past few days. May she rest in peace and her words of wisdom make Eritrea’s film industry a worthy one. I will end this post with one of her gracious statements after being interviewed following her illness;

“We (Eritrean filmmakers) are lucky because our (Eritrean) people pick us up when we are down and that translates into us being more than millionaires! “ when referring to a comparison between Hollywood actors who make lots of money and Eritrean actors who make not even a small fraction of what some of these stars make.

Tadesse America would like to thank everyone who has been supportive and he hopes hear what you have to say after watching. The film showing and times will be spread out throughout the USA at Eritrean community centers. Support our filmmakers.

Thank you.

Michael Seium
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The Movie: Zeyregefet Embaba (A Flower that remains intact) and its impact on Eritrean movies Reviewed by Admin on 12:39 PM Rating: 5

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