Archive of films Teza / Teza

Ethiopia / Germany / France
2008, 140 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2009

After studying in Germany, Anberber returns to his native country and is sorely disillusioned. The political situation is averse to any type of good intentions, and, rather than satisfaction from worthwhile work, there is pain. The movie was proclaimed the best African film of the year, and it won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice IFF.


Anberber studied medicine in Germany and now he is returning to help those in his native country. But one person’s will isn’t enough, and finding other supporters in a region plagued by a lack of basic needs proves impossible. What chance do good intentions have in evil times? And which is more poignant, leaving one’s native village or returning to the impoverished region of one’s childhood? With an emphasis on detail and on the everyday magic of life in an Ethiopian village, the film builds an atmosphere of the times and of individual naïveté. The sad hero may have found his roots but he has yet to find his place in the world – especially when the dilemmas of his country and his generation seem to rest on his shoulders. The unstable situation in Anberber’s native land, where young men are impressed into military service, only hastens the shattering of his illusions. The film points out the volatility of life’s priorities, and also how different African films are from those made on the dark continent by Western filmmakers.

About the director

Haile Gerima (b. 1946, Gondor, Ethiopia), one of Africa’s top independent directors, studied in Chicago and Los Angeles. He made his first films, Hour Glass and Child of Resistance in 1972. Four years later he presented the epic Harvest: 3000 Years (Mirt Sost Shi Amit, 1976), which screened at the Cannes festival and at Locarno, where it took the Silver Leopard; in 2006 Martin Scorsese presented a restored print of the movie at Cannes. As a director of documentaries, his first entry was Wilmington (1978), and the drama Sankofa (1993), about African opposition to slavery, competed at the Berlinale and took numerous awards at African film showcases. Teza was selected for the competition at the Venice IFF, and Gerima parlayed his success there into an award for Best African Film at the 21st Ouagadougou Film Festival, Africa’s largest.


The Match Factory
Domstrasse 60, 50668, Cologne
Tel: +49 221 539 709-0

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Haile Gerima
Screenplay: Haile Gerima
Dir. of Photography: Mario Masini
Music: Vijay Iyer, Jorga Mesfin
Editor: Haile Gerima, Loren Hankin
Producer: Haile Gerima, Karl Baumgartner
Production: Negod-gwad Production, Pandora Filmproduktions GmbH
Cast: Aaron Arefe, Abeye Tedla, Takelech Beyene, Teje Tesfahun, Nebiyu Baye, Mengistu Zelalem, Wuhib Bayu
Contact: The Match Factory


Michael Weber

Buyer, Sales Agent

Philipp Hoffmann

Sales Agent


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