Finding Sally

Canada/USA/Ethiopia · Director & Screenplay: Tamara Mariam Dawit · Cinematography: Alex Margineanu · Amharic/English · OV with English subtitles · 78 minutes

Sally was a rebel who fought against the dictatorial regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam as a member of the People’s Revolutionary Party after the overthrow of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassi in 1974 and who disappeared one day without a trace. She came from a wealthy family of intellectuals. Her father was a confidant of the emperor, her sisters worked as artists, TV presenters, teachers and for the United Nations – partly in Ethiopia, partly in exile in Canada. Director Tamara Mariam Dawit is a niece of Sally. Four decades after her disappearance, she travels to Ethiopia to visit her family there. Since none of her aunts know what happened to the missing Sally back then, the filmmaker sets off on a research trip into the past and encounters one of the darkest chapters in Ethiopian history.

In the presence of the director Tamara Mariam Dawit. Dawit is a filmmaker of Ethiopian, British and Ukrainian descent. She grew up in Toronto. 

Tamara Mariam Dawit works as a producer and director. With her company Gobez Media, she produces Ethiopian films, television features, digital formats and music videos. She has made features for broadcasters such as CBC, Bravo, MTV, Radio Canada, Discovery, and NHK, 2014 short film GRANDMA KNOWS BEST? and 2020 documentary FINDING SALLY. (African Women in Cinema Blog)

On the film’s website, Tamara Mariam Dawit writes: „I hope that Finding Sally can be a plea for freedom of speech and critical thinking, and also an indictment of silence in general in Ethiopia. Even today, as young people frequently protest the government, their elders are still hesitant to talk about their own activism and past losses which closely mirror many aspects of the present-day situation. I hope that this film can be a catalyst to discussing the country’s past and engaging in critical discourse about the road ahead.“