Effective ‘Difret’ looks at abhorrent practice in Ethiopia

Hirut (Tizita Hagare) sits in a halfway house in "Difret." (Haile Addis Pictures / Cineart)
Hirut (Tizita Hagare) sits in a halfway house in “Difret.” (Haile Addis Pictures / Cineart)

The compelling “Difret” is a small film with a lot on its mind. Authentic and affecting, this drama about fighting against the Ethiopian tradition of abducting young girls into marriage is potent enough to be that country’s official Academy Award submission and gain the support of Angelina Jolie as an executive producer.

Director Zeresenay Berhane Mehari, who also wrote the film’s Amharic-language script, is a graduate of USC’s film school, and the strength of “Difret” is in that particular combination of classic storytelling and cultural specificity.

Based on an actual incendiary legal case that was a sensation in Ethiopia a decade ago, “Difret” not only deals with an abhorrent practice that is still going on, it provides a dramatic yet nuanced window into a culture we almost never see.

Read more at: The Los Angeles Times

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