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

Haile Selassie Film Project (2016–2019)

The anthropologists Günther Schlee and Georg Haneke attended and filmed the burial of Emperor Haile Selassie I in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the 5th of November 2000. The Haile Selassie Film Project enabled the project team to produce a two-part documentary with these historical film material and further recordings.
Team Members: Dr. Verena Böll, Dr. Ambaye Ogato, Robert Dobslaw

The main topic of the two-part documentary is the burial of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia. Haile Selassie I (23 July 1892 – 27 August 1975) was officially buried only 25 years after his death. The ceremonies took place in the capital Addis Ababa on the 5th of November 2000. The highlight of the burial was the laying out of the sarcophagus on the square of the Holy Trinity Cathedral and the mourning service with Abuna Paulos. The first part of the documentary accompanies the burial and comments modestly on the background and circumstances of the funeral service.
The Rastafarian worship Emperor Haile Selassie I as God and Messiah. The Rastafarian, attributing their name on the first title (Ras) and birth name (Tafari) of Haile Selassie, only attended in minority on parts of the ceremony. Several Rastafarian are living in Shashamane, Ethiopia. Emperor Haile Selassie I granted land in Shashamane to the „Black people of the World“ as a thank-you present for their support during the Italian war and occupation (1935-1941). The second part points out the perspectives of the Rastafarians about the death and burial through interviews with Rastafarians in Shashamane, Ethiopia. Relatives of the emperor, representatives of the Emperor Haile Selassie I Memorial Association and of the Association of the Patriots also have their say (Interviews: 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2019).

Haile Selassie Film Project

Videos for download

Part I: The Burial of Emperor Haile Selassie

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

Part I: The Burial of Emperor Haile Selassie I

The first part of the documentary accompanies and comments on 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, Ethiopia 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.

By Verena Böll, Georg Haneke, Günther Schlee 
Length: 45 minutes

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


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, 2019).

By Verena Böll, Ambaye Ogato, Robert Dobslaw
Length: 49 minutes

Go to Editor View