“Mogn ena WereQet”

December 31, 2011 at 10:21 pm 4 comments

When we first got a video cassette player, or a “deck” as we called it back home, somebody told my parents that most of the actions in the movie (and they were mostly action movies, “First Blood”, “Five men Army”, “Django”) were done using “camera tricks”. The person didn’t explain further. My parents needed no explanation. And being the ultimate authorities over all forms of entertainment in the house (by way of the buying/borrowing of books, the turning on & off of tvs, rewinding/fast forwarding and translating or ignoring movies – in the case of a certain “f” word, for example. I was 9th grade before I knew what it meant), everything we ever saw on TV after that became the result of “camera tricks”.

The cars (or buildings) that got blown were toy cars or card-board model houses constructed on a table. The “kincha” were men “mawenachefing” their hands to the sound of banging bells and drums. Even the food, they argued, (that food “Wuti”, who end up becoming head “teshekami” for “Abba Billa Wefcho Bett” salivated over every time it came on, and left us discussing future possibilities of foods being delivered through TV-screens) was not really being chewed. All.. were part of the magic of “camera tricking”; lights and angles, sounds and illusions. Smoking mirrors.

And while they sat on the sofa that kids weren’t even allowed to rest their [filthy] arms on, explaining every extraordinary event away, we [sitted in our rightful places – the floor (which we mopped and waxed on Saturday mornings, fired by the promise of the “TalaQ film” that night; which may or may not be a Russian love story; and may or may not be cancelled by my dad’s need to go to sleep early, or some dumb “yeEgir kwas” program ETV decides to transmit at the last minute)] imbibed their outlooks and values along with it. “Rambo”, to my mom, was “Rambo wondu”. Men, [like the father on “The Champ” or little “Birju” on “Mother India”], who wept over the love of a woman or the loss of a childhood or, like the late Luelseged Kumsa, spoke English better than the natives would] were, according to my dad, “over-acting”. My older half-brother Israel called Bruce Lee “Yebir sini”, and not realizing how unpoetic that was, my younger brother Tagel and I made a song and dance out of it.

We watched, we listened, and we went out the next morning and faithfully imitated – the actions, the out looks, the values.

The one thing we watched silently and soaked, like a sponge, into our young psyche [and the one thing nobody told my parents was indeed a “camera trick” of sorts] was … the romance. The romance in movies! We ofcourse knew the hero and heroine can not be lovers, anymore than they can be dying or dead despite playing thus. We weren’t that imbecile—ish. We have also heard, from the authority that introduced the idea of “camera tricks” into the family, that kissing, in America, was like shaking hands. And sex… sex was a really bad idea that kids should scramble to get to the remote control for or denounce sternly as “Siyastelu! Balegewoch!!” if ever a movie was gonne be watched under those roofs.

However, what happened there, between the lovers, between those two, we expected to happen in real life. We assumed women reacted to a touch the way men did. That lovers run in slow motions, in green pastures or across bridges, with hairs blowing and dresses flattering, towards one anoother. That you don’t feel the rain coming down when being kissed by the one you love. That you would actually say a lame line like “Is it still raining? I hadn’t noticed.” and the people, instead of commenting on how cheesy that was, would go “Awwwwww!?”

That’s how, we assumed, the magic of love and love-making went.

We still do.

Happy New European Year, y’all.

Entry filed under: Latest Posts. Tags: .

Of guys and hoes* Face-deep in me humble-pie

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Scooby  |  January 3, 2012 at 4:07 am

    Happy new year to you too abeeye. I remember how people used to chew their tongue on etv dramas. They were on stage, with the background screen behind them. I think they were filmed in etv studio.So they pretend to chew and you could tell they were fake. Later,everybody started chewing their tongue,atleast I think so. It was more convincing. Please write posts like this… betizeta merkebe bayhon dersen enmeta enje :-)

  • 2. andthree  |  January 3, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    i am hurt that you failed to mention Commando and Predator :sad:

    Talaqu film i never saw. I had to hear (repeatedly) about “Honey, we shrank the kids” from the kids at school.

  • 3. Addis alem  |  January 6, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    You must be of the younger generation. We spent afternoons hassling around piassa until we could save enough for a movie at Empire threatre, the one that got burned :). Back then western movies and indian films were the roar. We got beaten, spat or peed upon to watch them. Not to mention how we brought our own berchuma as there weren’t enough sits in the theatre. It was all good though. After watching the movie, we walked all the way home in our bare feet and torn trousers talking about the actors and reliving the actions :). Good times!

  • 4. wello dessie  |  January 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Degme elalehu, these are the kind of posts that imake me come here for again and again. Welcome back kongit :-). I love it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Warning!

The blogger tries to think outside the box, or wonder why she sometimes can't.

Recent Posts

Previous Posts

Flickr Ethiopia

Road Works with Mule, Ethiopian Simien Mountains

ETHIOPIA-Jiro Ose

Ethiopie du nord: le prêtre et sa croix dans l'église Gabriel Wukien (Tigré).

TOM_8288 - acwb2M6

More Photos

A cup of coffee, a sink-full of dirty dishes, a mournful look out the window..

Free [undertoons] cartoon


Call home for cheap—er


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: