HARVEST: 3000 YEARS (1976) [Feature]

Ethiopia (MIFF 1977 )
Director: Haile Gerima

Haile Genma, an Ethiopian-born director, returned to his country to make this film in 1974, just before the fall of Haile Selassie Harvest is a dramatised documentary account of the struggle for survival of a peasant family on a rich landowner s farm The story painstakingly mirrors the bleak lives of peasants under the rule of tyrants The three millema of the title derive from a phrase used by the Ethiopian ruling class, itself a vestige of Italian colonialism, to describe the long period of so-called freedom for the Ethiopian people Genma argues that this slogan is, in fact, a device used to perpetuate the inequitable class relations of the feudal landowning system This situation has remained virtually uncharged throughout the history of Ethiopia, one of the world's oldest empires.

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