DER Documentary

Sweet Sorghum

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by Rosie and Ivo Strecker
color, 32 min, 1995

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In Sweet Sorghum we are introduced to the filmmaker's daughter, Rosie, (now in her early twenties) as she reflects on her childhood spent among the Hamar herdsmen, an isolated people of southwestern Ethiopia. The film reveals the intimacy of shared family life and childhood relationships between the Hamar, Rosie and her brother. We learn about the important role sorghum plays in the Hamar diet, how the sorghum is harvested and the different ways it can be prepared. The practicality of the design of cooking utensils is shown. Ivo Strecker and Jean Lydall, Rosie's parents, are well known ethnographic filmmakers who have lived with and filmed the Hamar for over twenty years. The films of Jean Lydall form a trilogy most recently seen on the BBC. The Women Who Smile, Two Girls Go Hunting and Our Way Of Loving, depict Hamar life from the perspective of the women. Ivo Strecker has also produced his own trilogy, The Father Of The Goats, Song Of The Hamar Herdsmen and the most recently released Worry And Hope In The Face Of Drought. In this body of work we find a rare opportunity to examine both the male and female perspective of a shared ethnographic experience. This film collaboration between a father and his daughter goes a long way towards helping us all to understand our common humanity no matter where and under what conditions we were born and raised.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Society for Visual Anthropology, Film Festival 1995

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Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts