Contact

Günther Schlee
Günther Schlee
Director
Phone: +49 (0) 345 29 27 101

Haile Selassie Film Project (2016 - 2019)

Emperor Haile Selassie I. His Burial and the Rastafarians in Shashamane, Ethiopia. A two-part Documentary

Part I:
The Burial of Emperor Haile Selassie I. Germany, 2018. 45 min

Part II:
Emperor Haile Selassie I and his ‘Burial’ – Perspectives of the Rastafarians in Shashamane, Ethiopia. Germany, 2019. 45 min.

Team

  • Prof. Dr. Günther Schlee (head of project) 
  • Dr. Verena Böll (project management)
  • Dr. Ogato Ambaye
  • Robert Dobslaw

Summary

The main topic of the two-part documentary is the burial of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia. He died in 1975 but was buried 25 years later. The burial took place in Addis Ababa on the 5th of November 2000. The burial lasted the whole day and was mainly conducted at three places: Meskel Square, St. George Church and Holy Trinity Cathedral. Some Rastafarians attended parts of the ceremony. They still worship Emperor Haile Selassie I as God and Messiah. The first part of the documentary accompanies and comments on the burial. The second part points out the perspectives of the Rastafarians about the burial through interviews with Rastafarians in Shashamane, Ethiopia and relatives of the Emperor (Interview period: 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018).

Background

The anthropologists Günther Schlee and Georg Haneke attended and filmed the burial of Emperor Haile Selassie I in Addis Ababa on the 5th of November 2000. The original footage has been kept in the archives of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle (Saale), Germany ever since. A project at the institute (Haile Selassie Film Project) enabled Verena Böll, assisted by Ambaye Ogato and Robert Dobslaw to work with the original film material. Researches about Haile Selassie, the circumstances and the organization of the delayed funeral and the church ceremony were conducted, the original speeches and songs (Amharic, Ge’ez) translated (English, German), and new interviews and recordings carried out.
The Rastafarians in Shashamane (Ethiopia) were already interviewed about their perspective on Emperor Haile Selassie I and their way of living by Ambaye Ogato in 2012 and 2013. In 2017 and 2018, Ambaye Ogato and Verena Böll carried out further interviews focusing on the death and the burial of the Emperor. The film about the burial was presented to the Rastafarians in Shashamane, Ethiopia and their reactions and comments recorded.
The historical recordings of the burial (2000) and the substantially interviews are presented as separate parts within the two-part documentary ‘Emperor Haile Selassie I. His Burial and the Rastafarians in Shashamane, Ethiopia’.

Camera

Günther Schlee (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 2000)
Georg Haneke (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 2000)
Ambaye Ogato (Ethiopia: Addis Ababa 2014, 2018, Debre Zeyt 2018, Shashamane 2018; Germany: Frankfurt 2017)
Biruck Mengesha [Camera Assistant] (Shashamane, Ethiopia 2012, 2013)
Alemtsega Zimita [Camera Assistant] (Shashamane, Ethiopia 2018)

Languages

English, Amharic, Ge’ez

Locations and dates

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2000, 2014, 2018)
Debre Zeyt, Ethiopia (2018)
Shashamane, Ethiopia (2012, 2013, 2018)
Frankfurt, Germany (2017)

Interviews

Ambaye Ogato (Ethiopia: Addis Ababa 2018, Debre Zeyt 2018, Shashamane 2012, 2013, 2018; Germany: Frankfurt 2017)

Verena Böll (Ethiopia: Addis Ababa 2018, Debre Zeyt 2018, Shashamane 2018; Germany: Frankfurt, 2017)

Editor, Editing-Technology, Editing Program

Robert Dobslaw, Apple, Final Cut Pro

Music

Dawit Guyo (Hawassa, Ethiopia 2017)
Composition, recording (five songs): Dave Records, Hawassa, Ethiopia.
Format: AIFF-Audioformat

Storage / Organizing of the material

The recordings of Günther Schlee, Georg Haneke, Biruck Mengesha, Ambaye Ogato and Alemtsega Zimita are stored on servers at the institute and the GWDG ownCloud. The detailed transcriptions by minutes are stored on the servers, as well.

Bibliographical data

Emperor Haile Selassie I. His Burial and the Rastafarians in Shashamane, Ethiopia. A two-part Documentary.
Part I: The Burial of Emperor Haile Selassie I. By Verena Böll, Ambaye Ogato, and Robert Dobslaw. Produced by Günther Schlee. Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Saale), Germany, 2018. 45 min. https://www.eth.mpg.de/4811316/research_videos

Part II: Emperor Haile Selassie I and his ‘Burial’ – Perspectives of the Rastafarians in Shashamane, Ethiopia. By Verena Böll, Ambaye Ogato, and Robert Dobslaw. Produced by Günther Schlee. Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Saale), Germany, 2019. 45 min.

The films are produced in a German and an English language version.

Verena Böll

Halle, December 12, 2018.

 
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