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Lights, camera, action! Whether in search of new love or trying to rekindle a past one, there are plenty of romantic Ethiopian flicks that keep us believing in true love. As low-budget movie productions have been on the rise in Ethiopia since the 1990s, the list of choices is increasingly growing. Here are five Ethiopian love stories to watch.
A lawyer is on trial for allegedly killing his wife, who was a cancer patient. For anyone who knew the couple, however, this is quite difficult to fathom. At the twilight of her life, the wife’s dying wish was to see her husband find love again in another woman. Between his mother, who badgers her about not having a baby, and her rapidly deteriorating health, the wife manages to put on a bright face and be supportive of her husband. An instant tearjerker, Yegbagn, meaning ‘appeal’, is a poignant film about one woman’s selfless love. Alemayehu Tadesse and Birtukan Befekadu play the starring couple.
Raised in solitude by an abusive father who has lived for more than 35 years in a military camp, a young boy in high school is bullied for his naive personality. As he gets close to a girl who lives near his school, he finds in her a friend, a lover, a meaningful world, and the courage to stand up to his father. Starring the 2004 Miss Ethiopia Sayat Demissie, Selanchi won three awards at the 4th Ethiopian International Film Festival and was named Best International Romantic Comedy Feature at the New York International Film Festival.
She just ended a disappointing three-year relationship. He is convinced there are no decent women around to start a relationship with. Eagerly waiting for a cab after her car breaks down, she catches his attention. Not able to resist the urge of getting to know her, he borrows a cab from a friend to pick her up every day and eventually they build a relationship. Things take a turn for the worse when she finds out he has been hiding his true identity. Directed by Yonas Berhane Mewa, Baletaxiw shows the sacrifices a young man makes to get the woman he loves.
“Take care of yourself” were the departing words of a woman who tells her carpenter fiancé that she’s leaving him for another man who can take her to America. She even dares to invite him to their wedding. Loosing hope in finding a woman who can love him as he is, he creates a new identity as a rich diaspora man and succumbs to endless lies as he starts dating another woman. A romance comedy, this Ethiopian movie is as much about loving as it is about laughing.
After seven years of living abroad, a young woman travels from America to Ethiopia with hopes of working at her father’s company, which is based in the capital city of Addis Ababa. Her whole world crumbles when she finds out her father has plans to send her to a factory in a rural town called Enjebara, over 400 kilometres (248 miles) from the capital. As she’s used to a luxurious lifestyle, this is a perplexing request. Succumbing to the dares around her, she finally rolls up her sleeves and gets to work in the rural town for six months. The film’s heroine soon realises that a town she thought of as unsophisticated and dull introduces her to the love of her life, offering her the experience of a lifetime.