The Ethiopian film industry is growing exponentially right before our eyes (literally). Almost every time a new Ethiopian movie is out, we are blown away by how Ethiopian filmmakers have come a long way to tell Ethiopian stories in ways we never imaged would be accomplished in such a very short period of time.
This is an industry that almost didn’t exist in Ethiopia 15 years ago. Today, it is a thriving industry that is full of ideas, creativity, talent and it knows no limits.
The very latest movie to take Ethiopian film admirers by surprise is Traingle or Sost Maezen.
It is, no doubt, one of the most ambitious and sophisticated Ethiopian movies ever made.
Directed, written and produced by Ethiopian filmmaker Theodros Teshome, Sost Maezen is a big budget romantic thriller that takes your breath away.
The movie follows the uncomfortable and dangerous journey of a group of risk-taking Ethiopians and Eritreans through a desert in North Africa spanning Sudan, Egypt and Libya. The ultimate goal of the group is to somehow reach the United States via Italy and Mexico from North Africa.
The desert scene of North Africa was shot, very creatively, at Semera in the Afar region of northeast Ethiopia. And scenes in the movie of Mexico and Los Angeles were shot at the actual locations in Mexico and Los Angeles.
The director Theodros Teshome said he wanted the movie to be about a great love story between Ethiopian Jemal and Eritrean Winta who are seen in the movie embarking on the dangerous and also illegal journey to travel across borders to reach their mutually sought destination of the United States. But he also said that it was the purpose of the movie to show Ethiopians how fatally dangerous this journey can be and how one shouldn’t even consider it.
But this groundbreaking movie is equally about love, friendship, resilience and perseverance.
Sost Maezen, which the director says took 3 years to put together, premiered in July 2013 at cinemas in Addis Ababa and is still being shown.
The cast of Sost Maezen includes Solomon Bogale, Mahder Assefa, Samson Tadesse, Muluken Teshome, Selam Tesfaye and Tseganesh Hailu.
Mr. Teshome said, as a filmmaker, he was interested in Ethiopian-Eritrean relations and his next movies will discuss issues between the two peoples/countries with a sequel to Sost Maezen due for completion before the end of 2013.
Here is the trailer of Sost Maezen: