99 minutes, Ethiopia, 2014, Subtitled, Colour, D-Cinema

This film was released on Friday 6th March 2015 and is no longer screening. 


This first feature from director Zeresenay Berhane Mehari about the landmark court case that ultimately outlawed the Ethiopian practice of abduction into marriage has won audience awards at four international festivals since its premiere at Sundance last year. A compelling social drama, the film follows Hirut, a 14-year-old girl kidnapped on her way home from her small rural school who kills her assailant in self-defense and is then charged with his murder.

Determined to secure Hirut’s acquittal from a judicial system still reluctant to interfere with customary law is Meaza Ashenafi, founder of the ground-breaking Ethiopian Women’s Lawyers Association based in the nearby capital, Addis Ababa. Tracking both of these characters’ different perspectives, the film intuitively charts a country in transition, striving to cope with long-held traditionalist values alongside attempts to procure much needed equal rights. Based on true events, this a timely and significant accomplishment. (Notes by Alice Butler.)

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