Documentary Screening: Bury the Spear, Friday 13th May, 3 PM – SOFIES / CFEE
DOCUMENTARY / DOCUMENTAIRE
BURY THE SPEAR
By the anthropologist/filmmaking team of Ivo Strecker and Alula Pankhurst (2003)
Friday 13th May, 3 PM @ CFEE
To pursue the monthly screening cycle of documentaries in CFEE will be presented the ethnographic documentary Bury the Spear (66′) directed by Ivo Strecker and Alula Pankhurst. This screening is organized in collaboration with the Society of Friends of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies. Indeed, a double screening of the film will be held in this second week of May with the Amharic version shown for the first time by the SOFIES on Thursday, May 12 at Addis Ababa University Ras Makonnen Hall, at 3 PM; and the English Version on Friday, March 13 at the French Centre for Ethiopian Studies.
This film tells the story of a peace ceremony held in Southern Ethiopia in 1993 when seven ethnic groups met in Arbore in the Ethiopian Rift Valley near the Kenya border to make peace. Several anthropologists were present and Alula Pankhurst filmed the event. But the film footage lay dormant until in 2001 Alula was invited to join the project on “Cultural Contact, Respect and Self-Esteem” of Mainz University. He transcribed and translated the dialogues with the help of an Ethiopian team led by Horra Surra and then edited the film material in collaboration with staff of Addis Ababa University and Mainz University. In 2002 Ivo Strecker went with professional filmmakers to Arbore again to visit Grazmach Surra who had been the main initiator of the 1993 peacemaking and interviewed his son Horra a key actor in the peacemaking about what had happened. In this way Bury the Spear was produced with the initial footage transformed into black and white. The film won a special Award at the Bilan du Film Ethnographique in Paris in 2004.
An Amharic version of the film entitled ‘The cursed Spears” has been produced by filmmaker Tesfahun Haddis in 2019 with new interviews and reflections by Alula Pankhurst and Ivo Strecker in the hope of reaching a wider coverage in Ethiopia.
The film is all the more relevant today with cycles of war and peacemaking in Ethiopia, and when models of customary peace-making may offer contributions to the urgent need for peace and reconciliation.