Sidet: Forced Exile

A film by Salem Mekuria

1991 | 60 minutes | Color | DVD | Order No. 99363


During the past two decades, more than two million refugees have left Ethiopia. Famine, poverty and political strife as well as the religious persecution caused by Eritrea’s annexation have already cost countless lives. Narrated by Salem Mekuria, an Ethiopian filmmaker in the US, this lucid documentary presents the life stories of three women refugees in neighboring Sudan. It traces the attempts of individual women to survive displacement, resettlement camps and ineffectual bureaucracy. An astute, politically sophisticated analysis of social and economic crisis from the perspective of Third World women.


“Exemplary in its depiction of the plight of refugee women. It is time that they tell their own stories.”

Sima Wali Refugee Women in Development


  • National Educational Film and Video Festival, Silver Apple
  • National Black Programming Consortium, Best Public Affairs Documentary


Salem Mekuria

Independent producer, writer, and director Salem Mekuria was born in Ethiopia but is currently based in Boston, where she is the Luella LaMer Professor of Women's Studies in the Art Department at Wellesley College. Mekuria worked for many years with NOVA and with numerous international film productions focusing on issues of African Ethopian women and development. Her most recent films include "Square Stories," which captures fragments of Ethiopia's past history and present and "IMAGinING TOBIA," which is explores Ethiopia’s cultural and physical landscapes. Her film "YE WONZ MAIBEL (DELUGE)" (1997) garnered first place in NBPC's Prized Pieces and at the Black Maria Film & Video Festival, and has screened internationally. "FORCED EXILE" (1991) received the Silver Apple in the National Educational Film & Video Festival, Honorable Mention, 7th Annual Atlanta Film & Video Festival, First Place in the National Black Programming Consortium's Prized Pieces, and Outstanding Independent Film in the New England Film & Video Festival. "AS I REMEMBER IT: A PORTRAIT OF DOROTHY WEST" (1991) and "OUR PLACE IN THE SUN" (1988) also garnered various awards and recognition, including an Emmy nomination for the latter. Both were broadcast on WGBH Public Television in Boston. (7/12)

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