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Ethiopia : The Emperor's Birthday: The Rastafarians Celebrate (1993)
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Created: 5th Jun 2007
Modified: 4th Sep 2008
Volcano Films

The Emperor's Birthday: The Rastafarians Celebrate (1993)

1993. 52 minutes. Ethiopia. Produced by Volcano Films. Documentary

The Emperor's Birthday, using old footage and interviews, sifts through the sequence of events that led to a Rastafarian movement in Ethiopia, England and the Caribbean. It shows that the movement was both political and spiritual. Curiously, the Emperor was mostly indifferent to them. The film traces the preparations being made for the celebration of the Emperor's 100th birthday. We meet Rastas who had made arduous journeys from all over the world, and learn of the struggle with poverty faced by the ones who have settled in Ethiopia. This is probably as close a look as outsiders will get at a gentle, spiritual people who are closely identified with the African soul and whose ways have always aroused suspicion.

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