15 April 2011

New York City: Ethiopian Jewish Film Festival starts May 15

The 8th Sheba Film Festival begins in New York on May 15.

This festival showcases films showcasing the culture and heritage of Ethiopian Jews.

Films this year include:

  • Across the River
Moshe Rahamim (Tesgau Mahari) carries a great burden. For years he has been explaining and preaching, and yet, the pervasive HIV virus keeps killing in his community. Against the “silencing” policy of the Public Health Authority and the denial of the Ethiopian community, Moshe sets out to expose the disease and stop it from spreading.  He goes back to Ethiopia, where he finds thousands of Ethiopians, waiting for years in compounds, where they are exposed to the HIV virus, to fulfill their dream and immigrate to Israel.

  • Delicious Peace Grows in a Ugandan Coffee Bean
Living in the lingering wake of the Idi Amin regime of terror and intolerance, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Ugandan coffee farmers challenged historical and economic hurdles by forming “Delicious Peace” Cooperative. Their mission was to build harmonious relationships and economic development, and they are succeeding. Partnering with a Fair Trade US roaster, the farmers’ standard of living is improving, peace is flourishing, and their messages of peace and fair wages are spreading to their coffee customers in the US.

New York Premiere of
  • Twilight Revelations: Episodes in the Life & Times of Emperor Haile Selassie
Ethiopia’s last emperor Haile Selassie (1892 – 1975) is to this day revered by the million-strong Rastafarian community. Yemane I Demissie’s documentary explores and analyzes watershed events during the reign of the Ethiopian emperor.  Using a wealth of archival footage and photographs, the film reexamines the imperial administration through the eyes of numerous individuals who played important roles in the monarchy.The observations and narratives of these individuals shed new light on the personality, leadership style and humanity of the last and final Ethiopian emperor.

  • Millennium Ethiopia
Ethiopia enters the new millennium on September 11, 2007 nearly eight years after the rest of the world. The celebrations are riotous.  Desaly Goshu left his birthplace of Ethiopia seventeen years ago. As a young boy, his family immigrated to Israel for the opportunity to live in their holy land. Now for the first time, Desaly is returning to Ethiopia to
remember his past and to celebrate the coming of a new era.

  • These are My Names
Ethiopian Jews’ multiple names reflect the richness, wisdom and beauty of their culture — and every name tells a story. In the film, young Ethiopian Israelis share their journeys toward their names: stories of love and connection, survival and loss, anger and pride. The characters’ original names – changed without their consent upon arrival in Israel – take them back to their childhoods in mountain villages, to the hunger and fear in Sudan, to longing for loved ones who died or disappeared on the journey to Israel, to denial of their identity…and reclamation of their roots.

There is also a related art exhibit, "The Many Faces of Yisrael," with an opening reception on June 5, and running through June 26.

For more information on the film festival, locations, dates, times and admission, click here.

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