Art Review

Hopes of Ethiopia II

The dramatic and moving experiences of three young Ethiopian competitors in the recent Olympic and Paralympic games in London are captured in a powerful new documentary, Hopes of Ethiopia II. The ten-minute film is a follow up to an earlier film highlighting the participants’ hopes and dreams before the competitions.

The three characters featured in the documentary are Yanet Seyoum, Ethiopia’s first female Olympic swimmer; an 800 and 1500 meter Paralympics runner, Tesfalem Gebru, and the 800 meter Olympic runner and a new sensation in Ethiopia’s athletics, Mohammed Aman.

The most moving part of the film comes when Yanet and Tesfalem honestly narrate the overwhelming sense they felt about being part of the London Olympics’ opening ceremony.   Yanet tells of her joy in carrying the Ethiopian flag and Tesfalem says he was honored to have represented his country at the Paralympics and pays tribute to the support he received from the 80,000 stadium crowd. It is also equally moving to see and hear Mohammed express his bitter-sweet feelings about the 800 meter Olympic final, and about which he says he was upset not to have won a medal in the event. Although he broke Ethiopia’s national record and ran a personal best, he came sixth in the race which was won in world record time by the Kenyan runner, David Rudisha.

The documentary shows exclusive footage of Mohammed beating Rudisha about three weeks later at the Diamond League race in Zurich.

Hopes of Ethiopia II is designed to be an inspiration for young people in Ethiopia and will be shown widely throughout the country over the next few months.

The film, which is financed by the British Embassy in Addis Ababa, is a co-production between a local production company, EPIC Media and the Ethiopian Film Initiative.


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