Yetafene Fikir

By Yelibenwork Ayele
Ethiopian Reporter

Months after it was premiering, Yetafene Fikir still draws moviegoers by the droves. That was what I saw Wednesday afternoon at the Ambassador Theather.

Two long lines of people waited half an hour just to get to the box office, despite the fact that it was drizzling.

Yetafene Fikir (Suppressed Love, loosely translated) brings to light the emotional crisis that two girls experience. Helen has moved in with Ermias, her boyfriend, while Lamrot has married Gezahegn (Enkusellasie Werkagegnew), an old wealthy man who was a friend of her father’s.

Ermias’s feelings for his girlfriend are dying while Gezahegn does not express his love to his wife though he still loves and cares for her. Therefore, Lamrot becomes depressed in the monotony of marriage with an old workaholic for whom her youthful passions amount to nothing more than romantic folly.

For Gezahegn, work comes first. That is his preoccupation day and night. He gives Lamrot no surprises. Every activity, whether it be visiting families or recreation, must be done strictly according to schedule. Therefore, Lamrot finds herself trapped in the richly furnished house of a 'clock-and-calendar' husband and longs for the excitement of vibrant love she has been dreaming of before committing herself to a lifelong relationship with Gezahegn.

Ermias's boredom with Helen and Lamrot's quest for love bring them together and thrusts them into a world of pleasure on a higher plane than they had ever thought possible.

The moviegoers on Wednesday afternoon were mostly young men and women. They say that the film deserves to be seen for the issue it raises. Meaza Fikre and Melat Bezabih, young nurses, said that they liked the film They think that if couples saw it together, it would strike a conversation and make them examine the status of their relationship.

"What I saw in Ermias is a common weakness among men. His initial feelings for Helen, which he construed for love, were only infatuation or just a physical attraction and in the course of time it was waning and bringing about withdrawal and arguments daily," Meaza said.

Half way through the film I could hear some distracting sound in the cinema hall. It was the sound of stifled sobs from a few rows behind me. When the film was over I found the woman who had been crying. Her eyes were puffed up from weeping copiously. Introducing herself to me as Etaferahu Bekele, she said that Lamrot's life was a mirror image of her own.
"In my eagerness to get married I accepted the first man who proposed to me. He was a wealthy man and a family friend. The age difference between us is such that he does not understand my emotional needs. Materially, I lack nothing. But I am not a happy woman." Etaferaw is now the mother of a three-year-old boy who, she says, has brought a new kind of warmth into her life.

Like Melat and Meaza, she too knows some young men who are like Ermias. "They ignore a call from their wife or girlfriend if they are dating another girl. If they answer the call, they lie to her about their whereabouts. It's very easy to lie on the cell phone."

The scenes of cell phone conversation brought the whole cinema boisterous laughter.

Almost the whole audience was laughing heartily at the bold lies people were telling while talking on their cell phone and their evasion later on when they were confronted with the situational evidence.

Ermias tells his secretary that he is going home because he is sick, but he is actually on a date with Lamrot. When Helen asks him about where he has been the whole day, he says that he has been in the office.

"But your secretary said you were sick and went home."

"No, I was not sick. She just didn't know I was in the office all the time."
Another viewer, Anteneh, said that he was watching Yetafene Fikir for the second time. He had brought a friend along this time. He said that the first time he saw the film he felt so uncomfortable that he almost went out thirty minutes through the film.

"I said to myself, 'I am Ermias'. I felt as if I was convicted in a court of law, but I managed to see the film to the last minute and went home resolved to be faithful to my girlfriend," Anteneh said. 

Melat Bezabhi said she liked the film and would recommend friends to see it. In her opinion, except for the dialogue, which was always to the point and less life-like, it was a very good film. 

Yetafene Fikir is the first script Martha Abebe ever wrote. She is now working on another script.

Source: Ethiopian Reporter