Ethiopiques: Revolt of the Soul

Ethiopiques: Revolt of the Soul

Friday, May 4, 2018 - 8:30pm
Sunday, May 13, 2018 - 4:15pm
Maciek Bochniak | 
Poland/Germany |
 2017 | 
70 minutes

In the late 1960s, in the capital of Ethiopia, record store owner-turned-music producer Amha Eshete noticed something strange—there was no Ethiopian music being produced and sold in his country. Herein began the birth of recorded Ethiopian music, imbued with the flavours of funk, soul and jazz. While technically illegal at the time, the music was celebrated by the people and tolerated by the country’s then-monarch. But in 1975, new governmental powers hit the pause button on this new musical expression, forcing Eshete into exile and imprisoning many artists. Like many great stories, however, things did not end there! A 1970s recording from Mahmoud Ahmed fell into the hands of Francis Falceto, a French music journalist, who was absolutely smitten by the sound. Falceto embarked on a two-decade long journey that took him to Ethiopia and the United States in an attempt to revive Ethiopian music and share it with the world.

Maciek Bochniak’s film is a lively compilation of interviews with Eshete, Falceto, and many of the Ethiopian musicians—including Girma Bèyènè, pianist and arranger for the Walias Band—whose voices evoked a passion for this unique musical culture. -SP


Maciek Bochniak

Maciej Bochniak is a screenwriter (graduate of the Screenwriting Studies in The Lodz Film School), director, photographer, drummer (he graduated from School of Music in Cracow), producer, and Impression2Films co-founder. His works include: I Love You So Much (2009), Reception (2011), produced under the "First Film" program at Munk's Studio, The Room, and One Billion Happy People. In addition, he is the creator of several TV documentaries, music videos, concerts, commercials, and feature short and feature-length scripts.