Indie Filmmaker Haile Gerima’s “Teza” At I House Philly Tonight

Haile Gerima is an Ethopian American independent filmmaker and professor at Howard University. If you’ve studied film history you’ve (hopefully!) seen if not at least read references to his acclaimed film Sankofa. Gerima’s film Teza will be screening tonight at the International House of Philadelphia as part of the incredible L.A. Rebellion Series I mentioned recently.


Friday, January 25, 2013 @ 8:00PM
International House Philadelphia
3701 Chestnut Street
$10, $8 students/seniors, $5 Scribe and Reelblack members
Free for students, faculty and staff of the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University.

Purchase your tickets today at:

Director Haile Gerima in person!

Presented in partnership with International House Philadelphia, Cinema Studies at University of Pennsylvania, History of Art Department at University of Pennsylvania, The Center for Africana Studies at University of Pennsylvania, Program in Visual Studies at University of Pennsylvania, Film and Media Arts at Temple University, and Reelblack

Teza (Ethiopia/Germany, 2008, 140 mins), set in Germany and Ethiopia, examines the displacement of African intellectuals, both at home and abroad, through the story of a young, idealistic Ethiopian doctor – Anberber (Aaron Arefe). The film chronicles Anberber’s internal struggle to stay true, both to himself and to his homeland, but above all, Teza explores the possession of memory – a right humanity mandates that each of us have – the right to own our pasts.

After spending several years in Germany studying medicine, Anberber returns to Ethiopia only to find the country of his youth replaced by turmoil. His dream of using his expertise and talent to improve the health care of Ethiopians is squashed by a military junta that use scientists for its own political ends.

Seeking the comfort of his countryside home, Anberber finds no shelter from violence. The solace that the memories of his youth provide is quickly replaced by the competing forces of the military and rebelling factions. Anberber must determine if he can bear the strain or piece together a life from the fragments of a complete existence that lie around him.

Mr. Gerima will also be teaching a Master Class at Scribe on January 26th from 2:00PM to 4:00PM.


Haile Gerima is an independent filmmaker of distinction who has served as a distinguished professor of film at Howard University since 1975. Over 35 years, Mr. Gerima has made 11 films, including four documentaries and seven dramas. Born in Ethiopia, Mr. Gerima is perhaps best known as the writer, producer and director of the acclaimed 1993 film Sankofa. What inspires Mr. Gerima is a tireless devotion to the art of independent cinema and the vision of a uniquely innovative cinematic movement that stresses a symbiotic relationship between African Diaspora artists and the larger community.

As an artist, Mr. Gerima has always used his films as critical lessons in his own personal growth and creative development. His concern for people of African descent is evident, especially regarding the representation of their image. His cinematic expression counters stereotype-laden classical Hollywood films, and this has guided the evolution of his socially relevant cinema. The goal of reclaiming history through the battle of ideas remains his most enduring passion.


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