Ethiopian Police Shut Down The Premiere Of A Film Produced By Angelina Jolie

2 mins read

Miriam Berger
BuzzFeed Staff
409864572-12It is still unclear why police shut down the Ethiopia premiere of Difret, which tells the story of a child bride.

Police shut down the Ethiopia premier of the film Difret, produced by Angelina Jolie, midway through the event on Wednesday, the Ethiopian news reported.

In a recording of the event published by Awramba Times, director Zeresenay Berhane Mehari told the audience that the police had a court order to stop the event, though the exact cause for the closure remains unclear.

Difret tells the story of a 14-year-old Ethiopian girl who is abducted and forced into marriage. The film premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and won the Audience award. Jolie was the executive producer for the film, which was produced by Haile Addis Pictures.

Child marriage is a common practice in Ethiopia (despite being illegal) and remains a taboo topic. The Ethiopian government is also quick to crack down on any dissent and provides little room for freedom of expression.

Read Aloud:   BBN Daily Ethiopian News October 25, 2017

“I hope you will continue to make films that will advance the art of film-making, share untold stories of Ethiopia, and shed light on our common humanity,” Jolie told the audience.

Then the video cuts again to the director, Zeresenay Berhane Mehari who, with his child in one hand and a microphone in the other, speaks in Amharic and then English to tell the audience that the government has canceled the event.



  1. wondering why? The film is just about our bad tradition and this tradition exists in the place where i myself grew up. It is not a taboo either. Even it has been a stage issue in Ethiopian medias for long time. Many dramas performed on this issue. what happened today? This kind of film is good for our people to learn and get out of our bad tradition. What happened to these people?
    Angelina Jolie, on behalf of myself I thank you for your contribution to human right and humanitarian issues for my country.I can assure you that We all Ethiopians love you so much. We would like to watch this film again and again. We will teach our people, we will learn and we will get out of this bad tradition soon. I hope this film will be inaugurated and will be watched by many Ethiopians.

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