Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Difret (2014)

Telling story based on the case that resulted in the outlawing of the kidnapping of child brides, DIFRET recounts the story of 14 year old Hirut Assefa who is kidnapped on her way home from school. Managing to escape from the house where she was imprisoned she tried to go back home, she takes a rifle she find with her. When she seen fleeing she runs off with her perspective husband and his family in pursuit. Brandishing the gun Hirut threatens to shoot anyone who comes near her. When her "groom" does she shoots him dead. Arrested and on the fast track to execution Hirut ends up aided when Meaza Ashenafi, the founder of the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association takes her case.

Whether you love or like this award winning film will depend upon if you give yourself over to its largely by the numbers telling or not. If you can lose yourself then you are going to love this film a great deal. If on the other hand it's construction makes you wish that the filmmakers had been a bit more daring in the telling then you're going to just like the film.

Put me in the like category. While I admire that the film manages to tackle such a serious issue, I really do wish that the film had been tenser or that it didn't feel like one of those feel good message films that  you see on Lifetime, from Disney or heads direct to home video. I think it would have helped that the poster (see above) and some of the promotional material pretty much tell you it's going to be alright before you ever see the film.

While its very easy to defend this as being a good film, I am kind of puzzled by the films numerous awards. I don't see it being quite award winning material, however I do think that it's worth your time and money of the subject appeals to you.

The film hits Lincoln Plaza Cinemas on Friday

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