François Margolin
France 1985 | 52 Min. | BetaSP, OmfU

In the val­leys on the high­lands of Siemen in the North of Gondar (Ethiopia) 1983 had lived more than 30.000 Falashas, which means in col­lo­qui­al Amhar­ish »stranger«. In the occi­den­tal world, their exis­tance was nearly unknown. Most of the Falashas thought, they were the only Jews of the world, until Joseph Halevy »dis­coverd« them 1867. The Falashas con­sid­er them­selves as descen­dants of the Queen of Saba and King Salomon.Under the dic­ta­tor­ship of Mengis­tu they were vic­tims of gov­ern­men­tal pogroms.

»We had to work at places hard to find, in ter­ri­to­ries, were the Ethio­pean gov­ern­ment tried to iso­late them. We filmed the every day life of the Ethio­pean black Jews, their rit­u­als, cer­e­monies and at least the wit­ness­es of their (bad) con­di­tions of life.« By the time the film had been fin­ished 1985, in Ethio­pea no Falashas lived there any­more. The Israelian gov­ern­ment had orga­nized a huge air­lift to bring them out of the coun­try to Israel.