Still from 'Finding Sally'

Women Tell the Story of Ethiopia’s Red Terror In This New Documentary from Tamara Dawit

Finding Sally weaves history and mystery together in the quest to find a missing aunt.

"Cinema Africa" is your guide to African film. Writer Ciku Kimeria is highlighting new movies and documentaries that tell fascinating stories or questioning prevailing narratives and occasionally returning to the classics that paved the way for a new generation of filmmakers.

In her early 30s, Ethiopian-Canadian writer and director, Tamara Dawit, stumbled upon a picture of an aunt that she never knew existed while looking at portraits in her grandmother's home in Addis. Surprised by the discovery, what perplexed her even more was her family's reluctance to talk about her. It was as if her aunt's memory brought back so much pain that her family had tried to bury.

"Little by little, I managed to convince my grandmother and then my aunts to share Sally's story," Dawit tells me. "I chose to interview all my aunts individually, as I didn't want any of their memories affecting what the others thought they remembered."

It turned out that each relative's memories of Aunt Sally were quite different as they had all found their own ways to cope with this painful past. Finding the photograph set Dawit on a new path to solve the mystery of this unknown relative.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox


Watch the Trailer for 'Uncorked,' Starring Mauritanian-American Actor Mamoudou Athie

The upcoming Netflix film, about an aspiring sommelier, also stars Courtney B. Vance and Niecy Nash.