The Portrayal of Gender and Power Relations in Two Amharic Films: Rabboni and Endateketelegn

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Hirut Admasu
Tilahun Bjitual
Tesfamaryam Gebremeskel


This research is an attempt to critically analyze how gender and power relations are por- trayed in Amharic films: Rabboni (Master) and Endateketelegn (Do not follow me). The films were selected based on their content involving gender perspective, the directors' gen- der, and the presence of a strong protagonist woman character. The two films were critical- ly analyzed using feminist film theory, the social construction of gender, and gender and power relations. The findings of the analysis indicate that female characters are portrayed dominantly as beautiful, strong, self-confident, and independent. On the contrary, the men are portrayed as handsome, psychologically weak, powerless, and indecisive. The sources of women's power in the films are the ways they grew up, the materials they own, and the knowledge they acquire in the story world. The females in the films are made to exercise the full freedom of being female which is unlikely for films produced in a highly patriarchal society. In conclusion, these Amharic films are attempting to serve as change-makers in gender power relations in Ethiopian society through their portrayal of women that challenge and reverse taken for granted stereotypical roles and characteristics assigned to women.

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