Africa Defense Forum
ADF is a professional military magazine published quarterly by U.S. Africa Command to provide an international forum for African security professionals. ADF covers topics such as counter terrorism strategies, security and defense operations, transnational crime, and all other issues affecting peace, stability, and good governance on the African continent.

Ethiopia Has First Film at Cannes

A boy, a sheep and a stunning mountain landscape. These are the three stars of Lamb, a poignant film directed by 36-year-old Yared Zeleke. In May 2015, it became Ethiopia’s first entry in France’s prestigious Cannes International Film Festival.

Shot in the highlands and forests of northern and central Ethiopia, Lamb tells the story of 9-year-old Ephraim and his beloved pet, a sheep named Chuni. The animal follows Ephraim around like a devoted dog and plays the role of best friend.

When the film begins, Ephraim has lost his mother in an ongoing famine and, in order to survive, his father has decided to take him to stay with relatives in a remote but greener region of their homeland. Ephraim will have to stay there while his father seeks work in the city, not knowing when he can return.

The film subtly highlights gender issues, the ravages of drought and the isolation that comes from the feeling of not belonging. As a first feature, Lamb is a glowing success for Yared, who grew up in central Addis Ababa and went on to study filmmaking at New York University, after earning a degree in natural resource management at a Norwegian university.

“I always wanted to work with Ethiopian farmers and to tackle the biggest issue facing our country, but in the end, I made up a film about them instead,” he said.

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