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Difret (2014)

Unrated | | Biography, Crime, Drama | 23 October 2015 (USA)
2:20 | Trailer

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A young lawyer travels to an Ethiopian village to represent Hirut, a 14-year-old girl who shot her would-be husband as he and others were practicing one of the nation's oldest traditions: abduction into marriage.



3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Meaza Ashenafi
Hirut Assefa
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Abel Abebe ...
Militia Man
Shitaye Abraha ...
Etaferaw Teshagen
Genene Alemu ...
Dr. Tamrat
Semahegn Alemu ...
Customary Judge
Teferi Alemu ...
Village Judge
Deribwork Assefa ...
Mrs. Belaynesh
Haregewine Assefa ...
Membere Yohannes
Hiwot Assefa ...
Emmet - the secretary
Yohannes Belay ...
Mehret Belete ...
Militia Man
Getachew Debalke ...
Mr. Hiruy
Yeneneh Engedawok ...
Village Teacher
Tewodros Jembere ...
Customary Judge


Three hours outside of Addis Ababa, a bright 14-year-old girl is on her way home from school when men on horses swoop in and kidnap her. The brave Hirut grabs a rifle and tries to escape, but ends up shooting her would-be husband. In her village, the practice of abduction into marriage is common and one of Ethiopia's oldest traditions. Meaza Ashenafi, an empowered and tenacious young lawyer, arrives from the city to represent Hirut and argue that she acted in self-defense. Meaza boldly embarks on a collision course between enforcing civil authority and abiding by customary law, risking the continuing work of her women's legal-aid practice to save Hirut's life. Written by Sundance Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Unrated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

23 October 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cesaret  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$7,100 (USA) (23 October 2015)


$38,449 (USA) (8 November 2015)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Official submission of Ethiopia to the best foreign language film category of the 87th Academy Awards 2015. See more »


Gambella Beauty
from the Astair Demoz Collections
Remixed by Duke Mushroom
© Asmari Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

About how a terrible event changed the judicial system.
24 December 2015 | by (Somewhere in the Cosmos) – See all my reviews

The name Angelina Jolie on the poster draw my interest on this one. She was executive producer of this excellent Amharic movie. I appreciate her side of contribution to lift the world cinema. Some of the stories go unheard, because they are happening in the remote places of the earth, far from the modern cities and countries. Newspapers, media might fail to report them in a long-range, because it is less interested in the other side of the world, but movies like this ensures the outreach.

I think this is my first Ethiopian movie. All the cast and story take place in this landlocked East-African country. The narration often switches between a small village and the capital city. Based on the real and historical even about one of the oldest blind belief over marrying a girl when she and her family denied the permission. It's set in the year 1996, the story of a 14-year-old girl Hirut who'd successfully escaped from her abductor, but not without a blow en-route. Now she's facing a charge which she had done in self- defence and the rest is her fight in the court of law.

As usual, everything is fine in our society, so things won't change and it does not have to, until something terrible happens. As to what this film talks, the law was not written in a single day and some of them are overlaps with traditional culture which definitely need a serious reconsideration. It keeps changing until finding a correct solution. Take our society as an example, now the homosexual and marijuana laws were getting friendlier than ever. This story is another example of patching the loopholes in the law. It might come after a horrible incident, but makes sure that it won't repeat.

"I can't even protect my little sister. They will get her one day."

The entire film was not a courtroom drama, but people's bonding and cultural exposure. Actings were wonderful, especially the main two characters, Meaza and Hirut. The pace and focus was largely on the topic, but a few glimpses of landscapes of the countryside made me wonder how beautiful the Ethiopia is. I think the cinematography was at its best. This film has been officially submitted for the last concluded Oscars (2015), and in my view it should have been nominated for the main event instead of 'Timbuktu'.

I thought it was a tale about some westerners who comes to help the little girl, or maybe adopt her, kind of stuffs. But it was purely a uni-national, uni-racial, its society and flawed judicial system which might give you a shock. After opening 30 minutes, I was pleased to have picked it to watch and ended highly satisfied when it ended. The conclusion was very emotional, especially the lines Hirut said was reflected what she went through and might going repeat for other girls.

This is highly recommended by me. This film needs viewers, to learn what's really happening out there. Especially in a male dominated society, how the children and women are coping to stand on their own feet. Because of the brave attempt by the brave women, the changes have come and building a better future for the next generation. So hats off to the director-cum-writer, producers and all the above those two ladies who are still carrying out their works to help the struggling women as the final report from film says. I think you won't regret watching it, so why don't give it a try.


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