Teza (2008) Movie Script

VENICE 2008, Special Jury Prize
Where is the wise man
to untangle the riddle?
Where is the wise man
to untangle the riddle
of how things will fare
in the world on high
for those who
suffer here on earth?
Judgment Day is here,
Judgment Day is here,
unrelenting in its gloom and chaos.
The children of Adam
are being burned on the scorched earth.
Nurse, I'm worried
he might not live through the night.
No! I am not dying!
Not before I see my poor mother!
I won't die! I won't die!
Have courage! Come!
Don't be afraid! Come!
Rise up! It's in the prophecy!
Did you hear me? Rise up!
Anberber! Come here!
Sister Dendersse,
our father is back from the war,
our mother is back from the grave.
They brought shoes for your feet
and a necklace for you to wear.
My childhood - so vivid!
I see youngsters
from my village playing Enkokilish.
The top and bottom are lifeless,
in the middle is life.
A pot of stew!
- A bowl of butter!
No. I get one of your states.
Take Minzro.
- Minzro suits me.
The lid's the top, the pan's the bottom,
the middle's injera.
He got us!
My turn.
- Go for it.
She goes to the market with fancy hair.
- A sunflower!
He got it right away!
My turn.
- Go for it.
I saw it when I left.
When I returned, it was gone.
- How about love?
Might as well give me a state.
- Do you think so?
Dew! Dew! Dew!
Mergeta, my childhood teacher,
welcoming the dawn with songs of praise.
My poor mother waiting for me.
Lame Bora, Lame Bora,
I'm leaving my children in your care.
Mother of Anberber, the coffee.
The flames are intense.
Who could be coming?
Who else but him?
Who do you mean?
The one
you worry about, Anberber.
I don't think
I'll ever see Anberber again.
Maybe in the afterlife.
Only in my dreams.
Don't be so morbid.
Only the fire knows of my return.
See it? There it is.
Maybe he's not coming.
Is that my Anberber?
I don't see my son.
There's no one left!
Please check, my son's missing!
There's nobody left!
- But he was supposed to be here!
Please look around!
Please, I've waited too long!
Mom, Anberber's here!
Oh God, could it be!
- Over there, see?
It's me!
Anberber, dear! Oh my!
My son, my son!
Get the mule!
Mom, that's enough.
He's tired after the long journey.
Anberber, these are my blessings.
Go on, pay your respects.
See, you've got your education
and I'm keeping the lineage going.
Meet my wife, my blessing.
Anberber, no offspring yet?
You sang so well at church.
- You still have that voice?
You were the best in all the parishes.
Your father was no ordinary man.
He was a hero.
He died only after
chopping off countless Italian heads.
That's whose son you are!
You're the hope of the village!
Welcome home!
You rascal! When the motherland calls,
you're nowhere to be found!
He's my only son, my provider.
No! I'll take him away!
- We've already sacrificed his father!
Please, let him go!
- I'll never let him go!
It's Anberber's homecoming. Be merciful!
In the middle of the festivities in my
honor, a government cadre burst in.
His job was to hunt down young men
and send them to war...
I realized then
that our country was at war.
Where did I lose my leg?
In my dreams they're both still there.
Where is my other leg?
Stop, Tata, please.
- In the name of St. Mary...
You'll worry your son.
In the name of St. Mary!
Please, Tatie!
Mom, Mom!
What's all this?
- St. Mary brought you home safely.
Now I must fulfill my vow.
- Don't talk like that!
You're hurting yourself!
Stop worrying him.
Why are you being so impossible?
I've been pleading with her all morning!
Please, Tata Tadfe,
what's wrong with you?
Why won't you listen?
Please, in the name of St. Mary.
Take your shoes off!
Take your shoes off!
Don't disgrace your family!
Goodness gracious,
what's come over him?
What's wrong with my brother?
He screams every morning,
as if some evil had possessed him.
Might as well let her be,
she's done now. She'll be okay.
Come along!
Come on! What's wrong with you?
Come on over! Hurry up!
What's keeping you? God!
Mussolini Mountain,
my childhood playground.
Hell's in the Earth's belly...
If you see the sky and lake...
Hell's in the Earth's belly...
- When the sun rises,
it cuts across Lake Tana...
It rises, getting hotter,
exposing all the sinners...
Warming the cold...
- Burning sinners all night,
setting, so it won't burn out.
Then it sets and rises again...
There it is! I saw it first!
My father was one of the thousands
killed by poison gas
in the Battle of Tekazi River.
For my village, the only marker
commemorating the Italian war's victims
is this monument on Mussolini Mountain.
Ethiopia, take the lead
along the socialist path,
bloom and flourish!
Y ou brave children
have given your solemn word...
Get in line!
Worku, come and have your lunch!
Ok! I'm coming.
After the sun's turned.
Come on,
you've got the whole day. Have a bite.
Ok, I'm coming. I'll be there in a bit!
Get him! Don't let him get away!
Worku, they're coming after you!
Cut him off from the front!
Leave him alone!
Knock him down!
Give it to him!
My son! Let go of him!
They're killing my son!
Let go of my son!
Why plead with her?
My son!
My son!
You never listen, do you?
It's your own fault you got hit.
You're pathetic.
My son! My children!
My son!
They're taking my son!
Make them give me back my son!
Make them give me back my son!
When Worku came out of hiding
to farm for his mother
and government soldiers
snatched him, I couldn't help him.
There was nothing I could do. How
could I have helped him? By what means?
My own life was completely upside down.
Parents hide their children
in the mountains and valleys.
They only send the little ones to me.
But once they're grown,
they too will be taken away.
Why educate them?
What good will it do them?
- What good will it do?
So what if they don't get anywhere?
When I see these kids,
their eyes hungry for education,
satisfying their hunger
is the greatest joy for me.
Whatever becomes of them later,
with the way things are,
it's beyond my jurisdiction to decide.
This afternoon,
Comrade Mengistu Haile Mariam,
of the Ethiopian Workers' Party,
President of the People's
Democratic Republic of Ethiopia,
and Chief of Staff
of the Revolutionary Armed Forces,
received a message
from Mikhail Gorbachev,
Secretary-General of the CPSU
and President of the USSR.
It was delivered by Viktor Chebrikov
to the Chairman's private office.
I'm alright.
Really, I'm fine.
You shouldn't
bruise yourself at your age.
It's no big deal.
It was wrong to do this, Mom!
It'll take a while to heal.
Give this to the boys.
It'll make them happy.
Year after year give us your blessings.
Let there be blessings
in the house of Anberber.
Bless Anberber's home
for another prosperous year.
Dinner is ready.
Come and eat with your brother.
Should he eat alone?
- I've already eaten.
Should he eat alone? Eat with him.
Isn't it strange?
I'm the first-born, and yet she gave you
the money to give to the boys.
What's wrong with you?
Come, keep him company!
There was a time when my world
began and ended
at the edge of Lake Tana,
where the water meets the sky.
In my journey beyond, where did I go?
What happened to me there?
Where did I lose my leg?
Anberber, you're a coward!
Coward! Coward! You chicken!
You chicken!
I wish I could meet God
and pour my heart out to Him.
I wish I could meet God
and pour my heart out to Him.
I wish I could meet God
and spill my heart out to Him.
He thinks everything's fine with me,
just because I thank Him in my prayers.
Oh, fly, my bird, fly!
Go tell them to look for me.
Tell them to look for Azanu.
Fly away my bird! Fly away!
Azanu works day and night.
Every morning she milks the cow
and goes to Lake Tana to fish.
What would my mother do without her?
What's her story?
Where did she come from?
Good evening, Tata Tadfe!
- How are you doing, Alebachew?
Fine, thanks be to God.
- What do they want?
Here they go again, bothering my son.
What do they want this time?
How are you, Dr Anberber?
You don't have to get up.
This is my youngest daughter.
She's in bad health.
There's no medicine we haven't tried.
You're my only hope, Doctor.
Go ahead, tell him your symptoms.
I ache everywhere. My neck, my ears...
I don't know if I'm coming or going.
I gave my daughter to a drunken soldier.
He beat her day and night.
He wrecked my whole family.
And I'm caring for my child.
I'm miserable!
You see, he's a doctor.
I look after five, six kids
and can hardly feed them.
What has he ever done for you?
My son means the world to me.
Thank God he came back to me.
I am so numbed...
Everything's gone topsy-turvy.
I have no memory of my past.
How am I to fulfill the
expectations of my family?
Where can I go?
Where can I escape to?
Did you ever imagine a world
other than this village? Please tell me.
Was the world
you traversed as you foresaw it?
Do you have
any memories of your journey?
Did you have any foreknowledge of it?
As you traveled,
did it all turn into a hazy dream?
Are you alright?
Who are you talking to?
Are you alright?
Lord help us.
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost...
Some evil has possessed him.
Maybe he got bewitched
when he was abroad.
Holy water is the answer
to this kind of illness.
We can't just sit around
while my brother suffers.
We need to discuss it with him.
Those who've been abroad
don't know about holy water.
So you've come back well, Anberber.
Come, I'll take you to my students.
My whole memory is blocked.
I don't think holy water will work.
Why do you look down on holy water?
- What good will it do?
What do you know about it?
At least it will cleanse you.
Try it, for your mother's sake.
What good is there in making her worry?
Even your modern medicine
only works if you believe in it.
Try it, for your mother's sake.
Why torment her?
In the name of the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Ghost!
Invoke the Lord!
What happened to you, my son?
So you've come back to me disfigured?
Did they mangle you up, my son?
Is this your leg?
Did they send you back to me
all cut up, my son?
Don't be afraid, son! Have courage!
They sent you back all ripped up!
I knew he was possessed.
What is it?
- He came back all mangled.
My brother...
My dear brother, Anberber!
What did they do to him?
- Goodness!
They sent him back butchered.
Dear brother!
In the Name of the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
the Almighty, banish the devil!
We believe in you,
the Son, and the Holy Mother. Amen.
In the name of the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Blessed God Almighty, born of
the Virgin Mary, hallelujah, forgive us!
Blessed God Almighty,
who died and rose from the dead,
who was baptized and crucified,
Satan, get thee out!
Satan, get thee out!
The shock of that freezing water
brought back my memory.
Casandra, Abdul,
Tesfaye, Gabi!
Could we change the tape?
It'll drive you mad,
this 'Ayah yah yah'!
But it's Anbe's favorite.
- So what?
It's always Anbe, Anbe...
It drives me up the wall!
- Calm down!
COLOGNE, 1970s
Anbe, you're missing the party!
Bring her in!
Anberber, we'll study this specimen.
I focused on my studies
as much as I could,
because Tesfaye and I had made a vow:
We were going to be the ones
who would study hard,
return home and eradicate all the
diseases that ravaged our people.
Return home and eradicate all the
diseases that ravaged our people.
So that was the experience
in China, Korea, Albania, and Russia.
Particularly in China,
the masses have triumphed.
Today, they are the owners
of their labor and property
and have created
a democratic, socialist society.
To get to where China is today,
our people need to fight.
In Korea, Albania, Russia,
and especially in China...
Okay, elder,
can you tell us how much you suffered?
Can you tell your community about it?
The troubles I went through...
I couldn't have put it more succinctly.
What I meant to say was
that you've lived a long life,
from Selassie's regime
to today's fascist junta.
You must have a lot to say.
"After an encounter with a snake, you'll
panic when you see a strip of bark. "
Comrade, do you hear me? Comrade!
Are you deaf and dumb?
My son has nothing to do with anything!
What do you want from him?
Don't be frightened. Calm down!
We're here to educate the people.
I only want to explain
our struggle to him.
He knows nothing!
He's sick.
He's here to rest, in his own country.
While the masses lack peace and freedom?
The word 'rest'
isn't even in our vocabulary.
You don't even know him!
He's suffered enough as it is!
Always suffering! Can't one be
at peace in one's own country?
War, war, war, endless war...
Yesterday government soldiers,
today the opposition,
hunting down young people
to feed their warring culture.
All they know is war!
Thank God, we're fine.
How was your journey?
These are the only survivors.
Do you know this one?
This is Gesges Belay.
Here is Berhanu Asfaw's name.
We heard he's in the Sudan.
This is J. K., Jenberu Kassa.
The junta killed him
on his way to Sudan.
And this one is Mesfin.
He was killed along with Jenberu.
They'd grown up in Gorgora together.
All our friends, all wiped out...
Young people like Aweke,
Bitew, and so many others.
So is this where you stay day and night?
Yes. If we step outside,
the warring factions
will catch us and send us to the war.
When I was young, people would say
that a dragon lived in this cave,
the cave where the people
of our village hid from the Italians.
Today, these young people say
the dragon prays for them
so they won't be taken to the war.
Some nights, the youngsters from the
cave return to check on their families.
At dawn
they return to their cave.
They're coming!
They're coming!
What more do they want?
already fed all my sons to the war.
Get him! Don't let him get away!
Oh no!
He's on an empty stomach! Run!
Courage, my son! Courage!
Run for your life!
Please run! Run harder!
Faster! Run!
You're pathetic!
My poor son!
Let go of me!
My son! My son!
Are you well, my son?
I spun this myself to make you a robe.
It'll keep you warm.
Where can I start
to make you understand?
You wouldn't understand.
It was my childhood they killed today.
They stole my childhood memories.
Don't scare me like that.
Don't. I can't handle it.
Even my memories of you and of the
village! It's become a different world!
It was me who died today, not that kid!
Oh, it's no use, you won't understand.
They killed Muche!
I can't take this! I can't take it!
Satan, get thee out!
Help me, Tatie!
What's going on?
Where's it coming from?
Isn't there anyone out there?
You over there,
what the hell is going on?
Down this way!
What terrible thing is this?
What's happening here?
I was trying to help her!
What a monster you are!
He did no wrong,
it's her, that vagrant!
You'll be alright.
He thinks she's normal...
What does he know,
he only just got here.
It's alright.
Stay put now.
Where would you go now?
Oh, just let me go.
The whole village despises me.
They'll all turn against me.
Please stay!
It's the middle of the night.
I was put into this world to suffer and
be humiliated. - Please stay.
My bad luck...
After living with me all this time,
who can she turn to?
She has nowhere to go!
Poor soul,
she won't be at peace anywhere.
Over time, Cassandra opened up to me.
She told me that her father
had been from Cameroon.
He was deported while Cassandra's mother
was still pregnant with her.
Her mother, unable to cope
with the racism, had committed suicide.
At a time when women
are more aware than ever,
Comrade Tsehai
wears tight imperialistic jeans
and smears her lips with lipstick.
She needs to exercise self-criticism
and change her ways,
or else I feel she should be dismissed.
I will be self-critical
and will change.
The concept of criticism
and self-criticism
is intended to improve
a society's way of expressing itself
and conducting its life,
not to coerce and stifle it.
Accepting criticism and
exercising self-criticism isn't easy.
It can be a constructive tool
for a society seeking the right path.
The Russian and Chinese revolutions
can teach us a lot about this.
We're organizing
the Bonn demonstration next week,
and I expect all of you to participate.
If you have slogans to contribute,
pass them on to Comrade Anberber and
we'll go to the demonstration together.
We became dogmatic
in the political spirit of the time,
and socialism
seemed the only alternative.
It seemed to be the only cure for the
class problem our country faced.
As a result, we desperately fought
against the Emperor's regime.
We were going to bypass the older
generation and set up our own new order.
Politics ruled over our lives.
It took precedence
over country, love, and principles.
How are you all today?
- Glory be to God, we're well.
It's your mother's wish
to see you married and with children.
That would make her happy
for the rest of her days.
It would be an honor not only for you,
but for the whole village.
What's the matter with him?
Are you storming off?
Are you walking out on your elders?
'Fire gives birth to ashes',
as they say.
Please forgive us.
Please forgive our family.
What a terrible thing...
It's alright, we only pity his mother...
If he doesn't care for his mother,
why should he respect us?
Azanu, what did we do wrong?
Why disappear like that?
You'll get covered in flour.
You shouldn't be here.
Mother is worried to death,
she thinks of you all the time.
Do come back, please.
- I can't return to that village.
Their eyes are like daggers.
In the name of the Saviour,
just leave me be!
I can't go back!
I beg you, just leave me be.
Oh, my bad luck!
Look over there, Anberber,
that's my island.
No one ever dares to go there.
It's mine alone.
Gashe Anberber, see this tree?
It's the story of my life.
on one side, it hangs on to life,
on the other side it has collapsed and
is decaying. My life is like this tree.
A chicken stew with twelve spices
whose flavor I have tasted.
I might not survive the year.
I'm homesick for Azezo,
Godar, Tedda, Minziro.
My love, my love, my love.
I'm homesick for Azezo,
it lies near Aba Samuel,
rich with spices and aromatic ginger.
Oh, wistful me!
Sweet is their conversation,
but to whom
could I pour out my feelings?
How I would have delighted them,
if only they would have come.
How I miss Qolladibba...
As I watched my son's father
sitting next to his new bride,
my insides burned up.
I couldn't see straight.
I just sat there despondent,
resenting my own existence.
In the name of the Trinity,
hand me my rifle!
Let him go! Go on, kill me!
Get a hold of yourself!
I've died already. Let him kill me!
Let me go!
- I've died already! Kill me!
Stop it! - I'll kill her,
I'll never let her live.
She's a devil!
After killing my own son,
I wandered the graveyards,
where your kind mother found me
and brought me back to life.
This is Prince Tafari Makonnen,
who called himself Haile Selassie,
God's Elect.
His other titles are:
Neguse Negest, i.e. King of Kings,
Lion of Judah, 255th successor
of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
The Emperor was head of the executive
and all authority came from him.
He was commander-in-chief of the armed
forces. He controlled foreign affairs.
He alone had the right to sign treaties
and appointed all judges.
He was the spiritual head
of the Coptic Church.
As Emperor of Ethiopia, he had
absolute power. Until this morning.
He left the stage of history
the same way he had entered: By a coup.
He was deposed by the very army he had
built, one of the largest in Africa.
The committee of the navy,
the police force, and the army
care for the well-being of your Majesty.
In order to guarantee your safety
we humbly request you
to cooperate and move to the
place we have prepared for you.
We've heard what you have to say...
When one is Emperor of Ethiopia,
it's not in name only.
It's also the people, the country...
In peacetime, the well-being of the
people is what is important,
and when an enemy strikes,
we are sure you'll defend your country.
We are sure
our armed forces know that very well.
Be that as it may,
this thing we call change,
which occurs periodically,
if it is going to be
for the betterment of our country
it is impossible
to place personal interest over country.
We heard your statement.
It would be wise to say no more.
Symbolically, he was shoved into a small
Volkswagen and driven from his palace.
The decadent
3,000-year old regime has been toppled!
Ethiopia is free! Let's drink to that!
The throne has been vacated...
What are you waiting for?
Go back and take power.
Can't you ever be serious?
Have you told him yet?
- Told him what?
That you're pregnant.
I don't know,
I hate being in this position.
But you'll have to tell him.
What's wrong with you?
Selassie being dethroned is not the
problem. But what'll come after him?
Now that Selassie has been deposed
and the feudal system's gone,
we need to go back.
We are our country's future!
You were faster.
Say bye-bye.
Is he leaving?
What's the matter with you?
I'm sad.
I'm sad.
No, no!
In Amharic.
Hasn't it constantly been on our minds?
Now the regime's gone,
we need to go in and organize.
What about your son?
- Don't worry.
Who knows what his future will be.
He might become king of Germany.
You can't disrupt
people's lives like that!
You know, our lives are here, too!
I used to think the world of you!
Cassandra was right:
You shouldn't have had a child!
Get off your high horse! I raised
my child! I didn't go for an abortion!
Don't pretend you don't know!
What's going on?
Teodross, come here.
You haven't told him, have you?
I told you not to!
Tesfaye left his family behind
and went back home in the middle
of the raging revolution.
So the host cell's nucleus,
as you'll be able to see...
And Cassandra? She vanished
without giving me a chance.
I went everywhere looking for her,
but she left no trace.
I never had the chance to tell her
that I really loved her.
Young man, take heed,
if you are mine
please return my love
and let me live with you.
Regardless of what happened to me
that made me close up my heart...
What's happened to me
that I now so yearn for you?
Y ears had gone by
and I thought I'd forgotten.
What's happened to me
that I now so yearn for you?
Anberber, my love,
son of Tatie, tell me true,
do you belong to us now,
or still to someone else?
I yearn for you
as I would for pure honey.
Here's some more.
Have you sifted it?
- Yes, I have.
What do you expect me to do?
- I understand.
Forget the rest of us.
After all those years abroad,
what do you have to offer
your poor mother?
We can't make stew
out of the books, can we?
I don't blame you. Forgive me.
Who am I to forgive you?
I'm uneducated, left behind to...
...clean up after other fools.
By the way, did you write all these
books or just buy them wholesale?
Gashe, why did you let me sleep so late?
They'd kill me if they found me at your
bedside. - Who'd dare to touch you?
I'd be putting you in jeopardy, too!
When are you going to
stop calling me Gashe?
Have a nice day, Gashe!
A few years after Tesfaye's
return, I followed.
I was very scared
of returning to my own country.
Every time I think of returning
home, I feel really anxious.
Maybe you're just homesick.
- You've got Tesfaye and a job lined up.
I don't even know
where to look for work.
Forget about that.
You know what I really miss?
My mother's seasoned injera.
- Forget your injera!
I can't wait to get to Addis Ababa
and fall into the arms
of my country's beauty.
And take her to a hotel...
Oh, Abdul!
Nobody knows I'm coming,
so keep it to yourself.
1980s, Addis Ababa
Hey Tesfish!
How did the holy trinity
make it all the way here?
Here you go, don't start now.
How long will I be staying at the hotel?
- It's difficult to find a place.
People who came before me
are still staying in hotels.
I brought you something.
He's grown so much!
Teodross has really grown,
and he looks just like me.
Don't worry, they're fine.
Look over there!
Reminds me of your father-in-law,
threatening to kill himself
the day you married his daughter.
Lots of people here die
from diseases that are easily treatable.
Sometimes I wonder
about your priorities.
Your people in the country
are dropping like flies.
The first thing I'm going to do
is see my poor mother.
The country's not stable.
I thought you already knew that.
The roads aren't safe.
Start your job, and once things
calm down, you can go as you please.
So, how is the political situation?
You can come to a meeting tomorrow.
Please, I've had enough of politics!
Oh no, here we go again.
This isn't Germany.
You don't have a choice here.
It's always, 'You're either with us
or against us', you know.
You'll have to join some group
for your own protection.
They say you'll get shot
by two bullets if you sit on the fence.
Can you take over Haematology
and Serology? That's all I need.
Here we have
Entomology and Bacteriology,
and this is
Veterinary Science and Services.
This is the guesthouse. You'll enjoy it,
you can do whatever you like.
That's it!
What are you doing?
- What's the problem, Doctor?
We revolutionaries don't have time
to celebrate the end of the fast.
We're busy with national issues.
Couldn't you do this elsewhere?
Who allowed this anyway?
Who needs permission?
Don't do this again.
We'll see! Will we need permits
to shit in our own country?
You don't understand, Comrade.
- No, it's you who doesn't.
No, thank you.
Comrade, can't you tell
a white man when you see one?
Don't worry, I reported him.
We won't be able to work with him
around. - They look really menacing.
This is the moment
I've been waiting for all my life.
I'm back in my country and you gave me
a job that will be very gratifying.
Anyway, now...
You've finally come to me!
- Yes indeed!
Here you are! What are you doing?
You're messing up the vibe!
Are we to starve for the motherland?
Let's go!
What time is it?
- Well past lunchtime.
Alright, let's go.
They're taking my father!
Let my mother go!
They're taking my mother!
They're taking my father!
Father! Mother!
Who have they taken now?
I've never seen him before. - He was
a big official in the old regime.
Be careful they don't pay you a visit.
They know the house. They arrested
the reactionary who used to live here.
You're living in a confiscated house?
- And so are you, as far as I know.
Sense of humor, Comrade Tesfaye!
Come on, that's enough.
We were the new ghosts
in nationalized houses.
We lived in houses unjustly confiscated
from the people
we'd accused of being exploiters.
Yesterday's revolutionaries,
some of us avowed communists -
our generation
put itself in a paradoxical position.
It's amazing how a single rooster
can terrorize an entire country.
Maybe we should create another one.
- Listen to her.
What do you mean? - One rooster alone
couldn't cause such mayhem.
Think back.
All those students and intellectuals...
If we didn't have the chairman,
we'd have created him in a lab.
This is our way
of avoiding collective responsibility
and of transferring our sins to others.
Is this pure sophistry,
or do you have a point to make?
We can't blame the junta alone.
We scattered intellectuals
ended up confusing the junta.
I'm not sure I understand.
Whenever the junta moved to the left,
we retreated even further left.
So in the end,
we all got consumed by the flames.
Let us drink and be merry!
Let's welcome Anberber properly.
Welcome, Anberber!
What about me?
I came with him, didn't I?
Excuse me, Comrade Abdul Ahmed:
For collaborating
with this fascist regime
you've been sentenced to death!
- What?
Furthermore, the prophecy has it
that they will destroy heritages
and murder each other.
Their corpses will be strewn everywhere,
carrion for the vultures to feast on.
The bodies lying everywhere
are proof of the prophecy.
We're at the height
of the whirlwind now.
I decided to stay out of politics
and immerse myself
totally in my work.
But even that
was becoming a crime.
Good morning, Doctor!
Your schooling never seems to end.
Don't you remember me?
Why do you forget me every time?
Don't mind him.
Is that your daughter?
She sure is. She's my life.
I named her Revolution.
Sorry I kept you waiting.
I was in a meeting
with a bunch of illiterates.
Doctor, don't look down on me.
Long live the Revolution!
We too are human now.
It isn't just you,
all of the intellectuals
look down on our work. We're used to it.
Don't poison your innocent daughter's
mind with your venomous talk.
Look who's talking!
Have your own child! We won't
be the butt of a bachelor's wisecracks!
You'd better sign this paper.
The cause of death is clear.
It was an accident, now sign it!
I'm not a doctor.
Wasn't a doctorate a requirement?
I'm not a health specialist,
as you think.
As soon as the Revolution needs you,
you disavow all that you've learned.
- Say 'Comrade'!
Don't insult me!
- Who do you think you are?
Wrapped up in imperialist culture
with a beard to show your overeducation,
thinking you're better than us,
demeaning the Revolution...
Sign it or you'll get into trouble!
- I won't!
You won't sign? - I won't sign,
and you can do whatever you want!
Forward! Forward! Forward!
The masses of Ethiopia will prevail!
Viva Mengistu!
Viva Mengistu! Viva Mengistu!
Where have you all been?
At a meeting.
- Shouldn't work come first?
What about the urine and stool tests?
They're ruined!
- We were summoned.
Who gave you permission?
- The Revolution!
The Revolution? To hell with it!
To hell with it?
You can go to hell too, you illiterate!
I'll blow your head off!
I'll shoot you!
Shall I let you have it?
I'll get you!
I wouldn't have spared you!
Don't worry, you'll be fine.
The officials know the matter well.
Don't argue with them. Take their
criticism and we'll get back to work.
Why should a mother die?
Let her live eternally.
She's the one who nurtures her children,
bogged down by poverty,
her own stomach empty.
Day in and day out,
she feeds her child,
while denying herself nurture.
When I was a child, I knew no better.
While she was suffering
I was playing childish games.
I was summoned before
the self-criticism tribunal.
against Tesfaye's advice, I decided
to visit my mother, whom I
had neglected since my arrival.
Where are you headed, Doctor?
To visit my family.
Could you step out?
We just want to talk to you.
Say 'Comrade'.
We can do without your feudal talk.
What you fail to realize...
- Comrade Doctor!
I'm giving you one last chance
and you'd better consider it.
You dared to say,
'To hell with the Revolution'.
You're an enemy of the Revolution,
the Revolution for which
many comrades have given their lives.
I'm warning you,
we'll use extreme measures against you.
Your life is at stake here.
It's the poor people's urine
and stool samples... - Comrade Doctor!
We're not here to argue over
who's more concerned
for the people.
The issue is whether you will retract
your statement or not. That's it.
I will not.
You will not?
Your Excellency, Comrade Minister,
in the name of my colleagues,
I'd like your permission to have
a few words with Comrade Dr Anberber.
Dr. Anberber...
...demonstrated his
anti-revolutionary stand not in private,
but in public.
We grant your request,
but just for a short while.
And please keep in mind
that there's a limit to everything.
we mustn't transgress that limit
and make a laughing stock of ourselves.
It's a matter of principle!
- Are you mad?
What principles?
You'll get us all killed!
Where do you think you are?
You're in grave danger. I don't think
you understand how serious this is.
Let them kill me!
I've never acted
against my principles in all my life!
What's the difference between you
and them then? You're selfish!
By God, you know the truth anyway.
What's so bad about retracting?
We've wasted six hours talking
about whether you'll retract.
Aren't you also letting
the samples go to waste?
Listen to me, brother Anberber.
We've all been through tough times.
Retracting a statement is no big deal.
We were here long before you came,
we're used to it by now.
Isn't death better than this?
- Don't you believe it.
You'll understand in due course.
The way you're going,
you're as good as dead.
Listen, I don't think
you understand how grave this is.
The German Stasi has told them
about your opposition activities.
They'll execute you. Isn't
the people's health more important?
Self-criticism won't kill you.
Please cooperate
so we can get back to work.
So, Doctor.
Have you come to your senses?
I have something to say first.
- Save your sermon for another time.
Are you going to retract?
- He'll retract!
He's agreed!
Let him speak for himself.
I'll retract.
We will fight
to strengthen the Workers' Party!
These two brothers,
how fortunately named they are.
One's Tesfaye, the ether's Anberber.
One is named 'Hope'
and the other 'Warrior'.
White Horse!
Drink up!
Let's drink!
You're making this place
feel like a wake!
Drink up! Let's all drink!
Ethiopia first! Ethiopia first!
Ethiopia first!
What's wrong with you?
- Leave them alone.
Come on.
I know my love for you,
but where is your love for me?
'You look elsewhere as if you'd had
nothing of your own', Balambaras said.
All those gallant patriots
who defeated the Italian fascists
and liberated Ethiopia
were taken out and executed.
Can we keep silent?
Where is the hero?
Where are the real men? Where?
Who is there
to avenge their spilled blood?
Where is the hero?
Listen to me, my heart,
or you'll end up broken.
Get used to what you've got, there's
no use in longing for what's gone.
here's your permit for leave.
So soon?
That's great, Tes.
Three full months?
You should visit the whole country,
not just your mother.
I've missed her so!
My area is known for its honey.
Let me bring you some.
what you really want is honey wine, huh?
Me, I'll be leaving the country
before you return.
What do you mean?
This is between you and me.
I'm not hiding anything from you.
It's time for me
to get back to my own life.
They're sending me to East Germany.
I won't be coming back.
Be careful...
- I'm not worried about me.
It's you.
- What's there to worry about?
I don't mean it that way.
You remember I was so eager to come
here. I infected you with my passion,
saying we'd do big things together.
Now everything's topsy-turvy.
The day you arrived,
we talked about bacteria and
I said we'd even help other countries.
Alright then.
- See you tomorrow.
After convincing me to return,
he now wanted to defect!
At first I felt betrayed.
But then I thought about
Gabi and Teodross
and I was happy
about his decision to leave.
Get that reactionary!
Get him, don't let him slip away!
Get his friend too!
Get him! Get him!
Tesfaye had been orphaned
by the Italian war.
No mother and no father.
His crime had been
wanting to help his people.
All he'd ever wanted had been
to cure all those diseases.
I wonder what he's done.
He was kind.
I think this'll be the end of him.
The hyena will gobble him up.
Yes, Minister.
Show the doctor in.
I'm really pleased
to find you alive and safe.
Please take a seat.
We're deeply saddened
by Dr. Tesfaye's death.
We immediately took
revolutionary measures
and executed all of his killers.
You see, our Revolution will get
nowhere without you intellectuals.
That's why
we want you to go
to East Germany in Dr. Tesfaye's stead.
But I had been granted leave
to visit my mother and relatives.
you must do your share of duty
for the Revolution.
After all, many fighters have died,
have given their lives for it.
To locate Tesfaye's family,
as soon as I got to Leipzig,
I went to West Berlin to find
some of our old friends.
After all, Gabi and Teodross
were his only surviving relatives.
The world's gone topsy-turvy
since Gorbachev came to power.
Thank you.
What do you mean?
Communism can't just disappear!
Anbe, you look good, you
haven't changed. He's exactly the same.
Listen to this joker.
You're the one who hasn't changed.
Life in exile has been hard on us.
There's nothing left of us,
we're worn out.
So, what's new?
I was really saddened
by Tesfaye's tragic death.
Tesfaye's fate
is really very sad. It's awful.
Please, don't bring that up.
I really mean it.
I tried hard to get
Gabi's telephone number, but in vain.
Will you break it to her?
- What?
If you break it to her,
can we come along?
Have you ever paid them a visit,
or taken our brother's son out?
Why all the fuss now?
Anberber, our good old doctor!
Are you here to spy on us?
- What?
I said you're a spy!
- Fuck off, you bastard!
What is it between you two?
This is no way to behave!
After what I'd been through,
I couldn't live the life of an exile.
I had to stay away from those
who had accepted that kind of life.
I just couldn't sit around in
bars or cafs blathering on like them.
They were out of touch with reality.
- What is it?
Do you remember this?
- Yes, exactly.
I'll get the tea.
I couldn't bring up
Tesfaye's death.
With the racism Teodros was facing,
they were upset enough as it was.
Cassandra's prediction
had come true.
At around 1 a.m., crowds in Berlin cheer
as locals begin to tear down the Wall.
All night and
all the following day, I practiced
telling them
of Tesfaye's death.
"Your husband... your father...
my friend... Tesfaye
has passed on. "
Fucking nigger!
As I lay there,
my only regret was
not having told Gabi and
Teodross of Tesfaye's death.
When I saw Worku's mother,
a child on her back,
her wounded son
being carried on a stretcher,
I was reminded of Brecht's play
"Mother Courage".
She told me she'd found him
after a long search,
lying among other wounded veterans
in a hospital yard in Gondar.
And all he'd asked her had been
to bring along his military boots,
his payment for his service.
In the face of Worku's suffering,
my own became less important.
I realized that I did not
have to know why I was attacked.
Let them worry about the
consequences of their act.
The issues I was faced with
in my village were more important now.
Let me bear your pain, my son.
Have courage!
What's the matter, Gashe?
- The whole thing with Worku...
Snatching away someone's son,
sending him to the front,
and tossing him aside all mangled up.
Don't worry, our child will be a girl.
She won't be sent to the front.
Stop it. Pregnant women
shouldn't be tickled. Stop!
Let me bear the pain for you.
Have courage.
My God, what in the world is this?
What am I seeing there?
I've suspected it all along,
but nobody believed me!
This woman's bewitched!
I can't watch quietly
while this happens to my brother's son.
I'll catch her red-handed
and hand her over like a mule!
Good morning, sir.
How are you, sir?
- Fine.
We've been waiting since early morning.
Please come this way!
I don't care about myself, but I don't
want to bring more trouble on you.
Don't worry, I'm here at your side.
Don't be afraid.
We're standing at a crossroads.
Our patriotism is being tested!
It is time we lived up to our promises.
If they want to tear Ethiopia apart,
I am determined to fight
alongside the forces of unity
until my head is blown off!
Oh my God,
what happened to the teacher?
We found it on the ground
and didn't know what to do with it.
We're uneducated.
- What do you want from my Anberber?
We thought your son
might have some use for it.
Where did he go?
- Nobody knows.
He just disappeared. We're worried.
We need to find a teacher,
for our children's future.
Well, have a good day.
Whatever happened to the teacher?
He just up and vanished!
I hope nothing bad's happened to him.
Do it carefully.
You be careful.
What in God's name
is happening to you?
I think the grain in your
recurring dream stands for our people.
Grain stands for our people
and the granary stands for our country.
The holes
in the different parts of the granary
our country's chronic problems.
Your attempt
to block a hole and stop the leak,
and your rushing
to stop even more holes and leaks,
all this represents your frustration
with the existing situation.
The grain pouring from the granary
is the people.
The book you tear up
and use to plug all those holes
is a symbol
of the knowledge you absorbed.
As it appears to me,
the nightmare
that haunts you day and night
you've found your education useless
for confronting the realities
you're faced with.
Have courage, my son.
Let me bear your pain.
Please, stay seated.
- Please do something for my son!
Hold on, son,
Gashe Anberber is here.
Boil me some water
and give me a cloth,
a clean cloth.
Be strong. I'll elude them,
and then I'll be there for you.
Be strong.
Tadfe, as you can see,
this gentleman is here to demand
that you hand over that worthless woman.
- Worthless woman?
Don't make a fool of me!
Don't mind her, she's always like that.
After destroying my seed
and rendering my wife barren,
she won't deliver her baby safely.
I'll rip out her bowels!
Aren't you a gentleman?
How can you talk like that?
Is she hard of hearing?
Please, sir. We'll go to any lengths
necessary to hand her over to you.
I'm telling you, you'll never know
when I'll come, day or night.
And if I find her taking refuge
in your house, I'll smother all of you.
She can't live after what she's done!
Don't pester my mother anymore. Go!
It's your fault to begin with!
You gave this murderer refuge!
Why don't you hand her over to that man?
You're evil! I'll rub the breasts
on which you suckled
and curse you.
Don't ever set foot in my house again!
The teacher's back!
The teacher's back!
How are you this morning?
- Fine, thanks be to God!
Be seated.
- Thank you, teacher!
Have you had breakfast?
- Yes!
Ready to continue your lessons?
- Yes!
I am teacher Anberber.
Today, we're going to
learn arithmetic such as...
- That's correct.
- Okay.
- Yes.
And when we're finished...
Gashe, it's my turn, Gashe!
Let me ride the bike!
- I know how to ride it!
Gashe, she doesn't know how!
Be strong, child.
Saint Mary is with you.
Bite this.
Be strong.
Push, child, keep pushing.
Be strong, my child, be strong.
Have courage!
The baby is born!
Childhood legend says we are
descended from dragons.
The youngsters hiding
from the war in the cave
also say that the
dragon watches over them.
The dragon will give birth
to them as her own children.
They will have
their own language.
They will create the world
destined for them.
And in that new world,
they will not have
a word for murder or killing.
They won't inherit our feuds.
The vultures will not devour them.
When they emerge, we will recognize
them as the dragon's children,
as they will bear her genes.
and I named our child Tesfaye.
And our hope will be
brought up by the dragon,
with the rest of its
children in the cave,
as it prepares them all to emerge
and create their new society.