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

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

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.

“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.


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