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Thomas, Michael W. (2020) 'Contesting Visions of Ethiopia in Two Amharic Sports Films: Between Film Festivals and Local Commercial Cinema.' In: Crosson, Seán, (ed.), Sport, Film and National Culture. London: Routledge, pp. 206-223. (Routledge Research in Sport, Culture and Society)

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This chapter analyses the two most widely acclaimed Amharic-language sports films by considering their contexts of production and reception, both in the cinemas of Addis Ababa and in film festivals outside Ethiopia, exploring how contrasting readings of these films may disrupt and/or reinforce hegemonic concepts of an Ethiopian national culture. The two films in question are አትሌቱ – Atletu/The Athlete (dir. Rasselas Lakew and Davey Frankel, 2009), a biopic of the celebrated ‘barefoot’ marathon runner Abebe Bikila, and የነገን አልወልድም – Yenegen Alweldim/I Will Not Bear Tomorrow (dir. Abraham Gezahegn, 2016), a film tracing the trials and tribulations of an Addis Ababa-based football team during the Ethiopian Civil War. The Athlete, a transnational co-production (USA/Germany/Ethiopia) made specifically for film festival exhibition, and the locally Ethiopian-produced I Will Not Bear Tomorrow, made primarily for commercial exhibition in Ethiopian cinemas, are also examples of two sports films that have managed limited exposure beyond their primary contexts of exhibition. The analysis of these two sports films draws upon understandings of their multiple contexts of production and exhibition and ultimately opens them up to competing points of view.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Arts
ISBN: 9780367346522
Copyright Statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge/CRC Press in Crosson, Seán, (ed.), Sport, Film and National Culture. London: Routledge (2020), pp. 206-223. Re-use is subject to the publisher’s terms and conditions
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2021 18:15

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