Oblivion

Zeresenay Berhane Mehari

Fourteen-year-old Ethiopian Hirut is kidnapped by a gang of farm workers on her way home from school. One of them wants to marry her and locks her up. Brave Hirut escapes and shoots her assailant. Beautiful movie based on a true story about the gap between tradition and the modern legal system in contemporary Ethiopia.

Bride kidnapping is an accepted and widespread custom in Ethiopia. When a father refuses the marriage proposal of a potential son-in-law, the tradition allows to abduct a bride. With no intention to enter into a forced marriage, Hirut shoots and kills her assailant. After being arrested she risks being sentenced to death.

Human rights lawyer Meaza Ashefani comes to her aid, but meets with fierce resistance from the patriarchal rural community. According to local laws, the kidnapping did not represent a violation of the law and Hirut should stand trial for murder. Moreover, the local authorities do not believe that Hirut is a minor and hinder the administration of justice as much as they can. Eventually, Ashefani succeeds in obtaining a court case.


The film was produced by Angelina Jolie.

Credits

Subtitles
NL
Director
Zeresenay Berhane Mehari
Country
Ethiopia
Type
Fiction
Duration
99 minutes
Themes
children and youth, courts & tribunals, transitional justice, crime, rape, women & gender
Year
2013