This is a guest blog post by my Daily News colleague Valeria Russ, who does a much better job than I do keeping up with these kinds of cultural activities:
Haile Gerima, the Ethiopian-born filmmaker, will host the Philadelphia premiere of his award-winning film, Teza at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at International House, 3701 Chestnut Street. Gerima, who has taught film a Howard University since 1975, first received international acclaim for his 1993 film Sankofa.
Teza, which means “morning dew” in Amharic, examines the displacement of African intellectuals through the story of a young Ethiopian doctor, who after studying medicine in Germany returns home to find the country he had remembered, changed by political and military turmoil.
Teza won the Special Jury Prize and Best Screenplay awards at the 2008 Venice International Film Festival.
In recent interviews, Gerima said the film explores the inner turmoil of African intellectuals who are “sent abroad to bring modernization as if it’s a simple journey to fetch water.” Yet the intellectuals find themselves feeling suspended in life, not truly at home either in their adopted countries or the countries they left behind.
Teza is presented by the Scribe Video Center as part of its month-long film series: “L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema.” Gerima was a leader of the movement, a group of African and African-American students who entered the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television in the late 1960s. The movement also included filmmakers Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust) and Charles Burnett (To Sleep with Anger) and was designed to use film to be responsive to communities of color, including Asian-American, Chicano and Native American..
Tickets for the Teza screening Friday are: $10, $8 for students and seniors and $5 for Scribe members. In addition, from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, Gerima will teach a Master Class on film at the Scribe Video Center, 4212 Chestnut Street, 3rd Floor. The cost is $25; $15 for Scribe members. For more information, go to www.scribe.org.