Wednesday, 5 September, 2001, 09:57 GMT 10:57
UKFilm pushes Ethiopia to confront pastStill from the movieWaiting to be executed: A dramatic thriller set during Mengistu's ruleBy Nita Bhalla in Addis AbabaThe Ethiopian film The Father has been winning awards across Africa for portraying the horrors of the "Red Terror" campaign unleashed by deposed dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam more than 20 years ago.
Rwandans are talking about genocide, South Africans about apartheid and so, Ethiopia has to talk about the Red TerrorDirector Ermias WoldeamlackAnd the 28-minute film, which is now on a satellite television channel in Ethiopia, has finally got people talking about the dark days in the late 1970s when tens of thousands of people were killed, tortured or disappeared.
First time director Ermias Woldeamlack, who is 37 years old, is firm in his belief that the story has to be told.There is little literature, film, theatre or music re-telling the "Red Terror" period, he says.And the absence of such materials indicates that Ethiopians are hiding from the goings on of that period rather than come to terms with them, Ermias believes."We didn't deal with them as it is not in our culture to have done so. But the only way we could move on, is to address them head on," he said.Its good to talkThe young director explains: "The Rwandans are talking about the genocide, the South Africans about the apartheid era and so, Ethiopia has to talk about the 'Red Terror'. The Father is the first step."
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The purpose of this blog is to collect testimonials of all survivors of Mengestu Haile-Mariams Dictatorship. We trust that good will prevail only if the Human race will choose to learn from past wrongs. We will redeem our humanity if we recognize our responsibilities. We sincerely hope that the validity of this endeavor will be self-evident.