When a 14-year-old girl is arrested in rural Ethiopia after murdering the man who abducted her, a female lawyer working for a women’s rights organisation decides to take a stand against the country’s legal system. No Ethiopian court has ever acquitted a woman who’s killed in self-defence.
Based on actual events, this is the first Ethiopian feature to get a UK release. Meron Getnet is the charismatic legal crusader who finds herself at odds with the customs of the country, which regard abduction as a traditional part of marriage and which demand the swift killing of the girl for taking a man’s life. Tizita Hagere is thoroughly believable as the vulnerable teenager in the dock, conveying a heartbreaking guilt for bringing such grief to her family.
It’s just a shame the film is slightly ragged, with a tendency to preach when there’s more than enough drama to get the point across. Still, it’s an important story, told with commitment.