Critic Reviews for Teza
The herky-jerky quality of the experience, exacerbated by writer-director Gerima's restless editing, makes Anberber's story difficult to follow.
The film is rough around the edges, and overlong at two hours and 13 minutes. Still, it's an eye-opening portrait of injustice and loss that leaves you drowning in rage and sorrow.
Ultimately rewards the viewer's patience with a potent sense of Ethiopian history and culture.
Both intimate and sprawling in its scope and reach, Teza is a remarkable portrait of the tortured political and social history that Ethiopia suffered in the last decades of the 20th century.
He doesn't just reject political, philosophical, sexual, racial and spiritual dogma of every sort. He seems to view dogma itself as the one true evil: the ideological armor of bullies throughout history; the enemy of freedom, of art, of happiness itself.
Audience Reviews for Teza
This is not a technically perfect film, but despite the various flaws I would have to say that it's one of the most potent portrayals of political disillusionment and personal anguish that I've ever seen committed to celluloid. Anberber's story is not only a deeply intimate tragedy but also serves as the biography of a generation, and accomplishing storytelling on such an epic scale with such a shoestring budget is a truly masterful achievement. There are so many subplots that seem to cover such a huge range of life experiences faced by Ethiopians and those living among the diaspora that it all coalesces into a something beyond any particular plot detail. It is definitely a commitment to watch this film because of its kaleidoscopic, fragmented narrative, and even Haile Gerima's editing doesn't do much to help make the experience any more palatable. While most African films are characterized by long and meditative shots, Gerima makes a deliberate effort to vary the pace and include a lot of short cuts that are kind of jarring at times. This is an effective way of conveying the spirit (or post-traumatic stress) that haunts Anberber's mind, but it won't do much to make the film more accessible to audiences that are looking for something easy. Indeed, this is not an easy film, as it is not about an easy subject matter, but it is absolutely worth seeing for its ability to hold the truth up as the world's highest art and our greatest hope.
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