A new documentary film by an award-winning Ethiopian director strips the romantic veneer from Ethiopia’s farm life as a film crew follows two young residents of Addis: Lidya Hadis and Robera Desalegne who discover the harsh realities of poverty, hard work and every day life in a rural village away from home.
Ethiopian born film maker Aida Ashenafi directed, co-produced & edited “Guzo,” a 138-minutes documentary about Lidya and Robera and their hosts. Lidya stayed with Belgenesh Belayhun and her husband and their three children while Robera stayed on a nearby farm with Shewangizaw Astatke and his wife and child.
The film shows how the two tried to cope up with increasingly difficult farm life and the needed change that they have to make to stay for the next twenty days on small rural mountain village some 150 kilometers away from the capital Addis Ababa.
“Guzo,” ("the journey") won best picture at 2009 Addis international film festival and is the first Ethiopian film ever to be sponsored by the Ethiopian Air Lines for in-flight screening.
Aida studied film at Ithaca college and spent six years in New York. She is the founder of Sauce Entertainment and has produced TV commercials for Nike, Panasonic, Coca-cola, Dark and Lovely, and Toys ‘R’ Us and supervised music videos for R Kelly, Back Street Boys, Tribe called Quest, Joe, and others. She was executive producer for “The Naked Man”, an Oscar nominee for script, and for Oscar winner “Ethan Coen”, which was released by Universal Pictures.
Aida Ashenafi and cinematographer and second unit director Zeresenai Berhane talk about "guzo" with the VOA horn of Africa service's Alula Kebede. Alula also featured the four subjects of the film in his recent Sunday Radio Magazine show. (Click the links on the side to listen to these interviews in Amharic).