Director: Zeresenay Mehari
cast: Trzita Hagare, Meron Getnet, Moges Yohannes, Brook Sheferaw
Language: Amharic with English subtitles
Country of Origin: USA, Ethiopia 2013 99 mins.
Released by SODA PICTURES
'A quietly compelling and powerful story'.
'Difret', meaning 'courage' or 'to dare' in Amharic, is based on a true story and shows that an aggressive patriachy engenders inhospitable conditions for Ethiopian women particularly in the rural countryside and their struggle for equal rights is truly courageous.
Following one of Ethiopia’s oldest marriage traditions Hirut (Tizita Hagare), a bright 14-year-old girl is abducted on her way home from school. Imprisoned, beaten and raped Hirut remains defiant, grabs a rifle and tries to escape, but ends up shooting Tedele (Girma Teshome), her would-be husband. Charged with murder local justice demands Hirut be executed and buried with her victim.
Meaza Ashenafi (Meron Getnet), a lawyer in Addis Ababa hears of the case and decides to represent Hirut and argue that she acted in self-defense. Meaza's now on a collision course with the local police chief (Moges Yohannes) and awyer (Brook Sheferaw) who aren't used to dealing with women and abiding by customary law, she risks her own career at the Andinet Women lawyers legal-aid practice to save Hirut’s life.
A fascinating insight into the contrast of rural customs and modern bustling Addis Ababa.