its an Habesha Life 73 Comments

Episode 1

It’s a series of short stories with the same characters, dealing with all sort of life issues.  From what I have just seen this is some serious set of films; I will be promoting each episode as they come out whenever.

I am hooked. Let me know what you think? I will pass word along to the filmmakers.

73 Responses to “its an Habesha Life”


  1. 1 story

    I don’t know why ppl trip over cheating. She should have been like ok bye bye. At the end the girl made the biggest mistake talking with other dude about the one she is with. big mistake coz this new guy will pretend to care will listen then will take advantage of the situation and then do the same thing to her plus much more. Big mistake.

  2. 2 Skandé Bandé

    Nol, nothing to do with the subject matter…..but one of my biggest pet peeves is when people write “HABESHA” instead of “ABESHA”. And these days I see that damn “H” everywhere…
    I’m of course assuming that people are transliterating the amharic version of the word. If that’s the case, in amharic it’s “Abesha”….

    Thanks for letting me vent….

  3. 3 Alazhar

    Hey great to see such videos made by our people! I liked it and it’s actually a great start in my opinion. But…why is the movie made in black and white? Is there any special reason for that? And the other thing is it would be good if they could work out more on the sound system.I can’t wait to see the 2nd episode! Good luck

  4. 4 Nolawi

    After a quick check, I found that abeshalife.com was taken – I believe that is probably the main reason the filmmakers decided on the current spelling of the domain

    I really hate it when people say habesha instead of abesha as well… but the original word is actually not abesha or habesha

    it was habesh- based on the ottoman empire bordering redsea details here but as time goes so does the meaning of words… blaze blaza

    ———————————

    Alazhar – b&w is a choice in cinematography… just like the choice of (lighting, lens choices, composition, exposure, & filtration )

    based on your comment I beleive you are probably not qualified to critic technical aspects of the film…

    either u like the film or you don’t – say something about the story… say something about the actors… ena stop there…

    IMHO

  5. 5 Dinich

    My rating:

    Picture: 7-8 out of 10
    Sound: 5-6 out of 10
    Story: more on the boring side

  6. 6 Nolawi

    Dinich are you serious?

    or the story?

  7. 7 Ethio Jazz

    Great start on the episodes! I agree with Dinich and Alazhar–the sound could have been better.

    Nolisha… Alazhar has the right to critic any aspect of the film. He doesn’t have to be a director or a cameraman minamin. Besides, what he said in his comment were his prefrences. His preference of color vs B&W. His comment wasn’t entirely critical eko so don’t censor him.

  8. 8 Anonx

    I thought this isn’t too bad. well done. Sound was bad when the Porican was speaking, otherwise sound, although could use some improvement like the acting, overall, low budget and well done. The story, this being episode one, is an introduction, nice lay-out of the scenery and the friends’s place, and the chick’s dillema is there, to do or not to do… to Wilt Chamberlain or not, that is the question. (this coming from one normally a harsh critic)

  9. 9 Dinich

    Nol,

    Yup….that is my first quick reaction to be taken lightly but I am serious….

    The part I liked is the camera and the picture works…..The actors are decent too….

    overall not too bad for a first episode

  10. 10 bez

    Her boy is a duech bag, she should end up with my manz killinem (bartender) just cuz he can rap real nice when he is not acting lol, for real tho he a talented brotha yall should check out his music (free plug lol).

    But I think this film is a very good start to depict some aspects of americanized “Habesha” (yea i left out the A so what lol) lifestyles. Although I dont like black and white films, I think its better of being that way since black and white films are great for low budget movies since they can make up for bad quality (you cant really see picture details in white films)…but great start with the whole thing..although the story seems to drag on/boring..not enough action in one episode..Thats my “take one” anyways lol get it get it..im so clever hahaa

  11. 11 Tsedey

    To me, the acting didn’t sound effortless except for the Bartender and the guy with the latina.

    Second, when it said habesha life, I kinda expected some amharic in it.

    Eden could have screamed more and acted REALLY PISSED when she found out that her BF was cheating.. she could have acted really depressed or some believable action…

    I love the fact that it’s black and white.

    Yes, sound needs a lil work..

    Image clarity is great.

    Story-No suspense for the next part if it’s a series- what are we supposed to look forward to?

    Overall good start…Hope to see you around.

  12. 12 yachilij

    loved everything but the storyline.. :)

  13. 13 Sigh

    “I really hate it when people say habesha instead of abesha as well… but the original word is actually not abesha or habesha”

    Argh. Your idea of a pet peeve is my pet peeve. I don’t know why this bugs me, but it does. Are you people nuts?

    You explain the origins of Habesha and still say that it irritates you that it’s not abesha?

    Amharic, like just about all other languages, is basically the language that it is because it steals words from other languages, butchers them up and incorporates them. The ‘correct’ word is Habesha (as derived from habesh), butchered to Abesha, as is ‘hager’ which Amharic sometimes makes into ‘ager’, hambasha/ambasha, ‘halafinet’ which some pple write as ‘alafinet’ (which btw, should just be considered plain wrong and borderline irritating since alafinet sounds like they’re trying to say something else), etc.

    So people, please don’t arouse my pet peeve with your pet peeve.

    As for Episode 1, I didn’t get time to watch it to the end but from the very little i saw, that’s some serious camera work, no? I’m also significantly ignorant about how films are made but I imagined these guys are working with one camera. There were points where i was wondering how many times they re-shot the scene, e.g. when she goes into the elevator.

    I hated the way she reacted to her b/f cheating. Who the hell does that besides characters in Spanish soaps? (sorry :)

    I was amused by the bar tender asking if he should use his failed pickup line on another girl, and her telling him not :)

    That’s all I’ve seen :)

    p.s. I am waiting for the person who’s going to write here and say the use of the words ‘habesha’ AND ‘abesha’ is their pet peeve.

  14. 14 yachilij

    LOL
    I love it when folks demand sh* (other than mutual respect) from others in a public forum..

  15. 15 selam

    Habesha life ok
    The word Habesha irritates me as well. It all depends on how one defines it.
    Habesh in Arabic means face burnt by the sun. Ok

    I have heard that the word “Habesha” is banned in Eritria.

    Check this out.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Habesha

  16. 16 bez

    why do it feels like this Abesha vs Habesha argument sounds like nigga vs nigger discussions

    anyways The history and refrence of the term Habesha or Abesha is a very long and complex topic. Therefore to make assumptions and declare how it should be said or what it realy means by taking certain facts that are partly true out of countext does not make sense. As those facts are only a smaller version of the whole concept of the term and its orgin. Let people call it wuteva they want to call it. There are many scholarly journals out there that document this “word”, however you can find a quick partial summary http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habesha_people …alright my abesha!!! or my Habesha Habesha Habesha Habesha..how is that for a pet peeve

  17. 17 Tsedey

    I like Habesha and use it all the time as opposed to Abesha.

    Habesha is inclusive while abesha isn’t. And the word’s origin is Arabic so wouldn’t it make sense to use the original or close to the original..

  18. 18 Anonx

    Selam–it’s urban legend.

  19. 19 Doro Mata

    Great start indeed! Love the pans and zooms of camera, even the shaky parts. Beautiful framing! promising actors, but pleaseeee work on the story! Looks like its heading towards some Days Of Our Lives thang when the treatment seems to say otherwise.

  20. 20 Doro Mata

    oh, and I have to say, the cheating dude is funny! The way he said Í’m in love with someone’ to then invite her for a threesome. Love the hand gesture!

    teeheehee

    Lady’s gawjus!

  21. 21 tpeace

    aha! tsedey u hit a lot of wht i thought! funny, we must think alike eh?…great minds? :P ;)

    it’s a cool, fresh start – like an attempt to capture the way things are. it felt real. there’s such a void for this typa media so big props to the creator!! enjoyd this and can’t wait for the next one…

    i thought the montaging was off the hook! really nicely done – along with the feel of the soundtrack. tho the soundtrack was a tad bit less versatile than i wuda liked. as much as i liked it, gotta say, the various images of the same instant reaaaally slowed down the pace of the film almost dragging the story… like – when semhar’s walkin down the hallway with dude standing in the end of the hallway -makes u wonder what she’s really thinking strollin casually and struttin her stuff? aesthetic, calm, a bit ‘overdone’?…not expecting over-dramatization but her walk down the hallway made her seem nonchalant — dunno if that’s what a viewer’s supposed to think…
    again when she and the bartender have a stare-off…that delayed timing…slowed down the story/film.

    i liked how the director gave snips of the argument till the end when the whole scene was played out — nice touch. i like the length of the episodes. tinish gurshawoch…snips out of their lives neger…b&w is pretty nice too.

    issues with the sound – i picked up during dialogue – the argument.

    in terms of acting – mamush did a stellar job! his jokes, timing — sharp energetic delivery. i totally believed him.

    as per my expectations from reading the blurb about the film focusing on these young abeshoch’s contemplations on life, love and everything else…am lookin forward to witty dialogue and banter in the upcoming episodes. ohhh i gotta wait 3 weeks! whyyyyyy

  22. 22 Alazhar

    Nolawi,
    What are you talking about? I’m not a critic nor tried to criticize about the technicalities of the movie! I was just curious and inquired about why it was made in B&W. Plain and simple!I don’t understand why you always try to twist people’s comment like “yemender tebeqa yimesil”…whatever!

  23. 23 Nolawi

    lol sorry alazhar besaq mutki about about the yemender tebaqi

  24. 24 metad bet

    let’s get over semantics and talk about the webisodes like tpeaces et al.

  25. 25 anonx

    I heard in Ethiopia they are waging war on silent letters :)

  26. 26 biskut

    Nolawi
    Anyone can critic a film as long as he watched that particular film.Please stop taking comments personally and being on the defensive side for every little comment .Being too sensitive to comments will discourage honesty eqo !

    The storyline
    seems very predictable .

    casting
    For once habesha or abesha filmmakers did not choose an above average( on the looks part) , fair skinned girl with long hair .Thank God to that .

    The title
    I can’t wait to see what part of it is “typical abesha ” to be called habesha life .so far its theme is universal.

  27. 27 tpeace

    lol…just saw doro’s comment bout inclining toward ‘days of our lives’ — i kinda expected more edginess — more dialogue, fast-paced vs. slow progression, cerebral & wordy vs. dramatic & sight/sound driven…but hey…doesn’t mean it shud be that way cos i expected it to be…

  28. 28 datdude

    annox….war on silent letters loool

    now back to the front lines, i’ve just been promoted to leader of the special forces, tonight we attack the:

    Ks–knight, knives, knots

    Ls–salmon, could, should

    and Ns– autumn

    the war on silent letters continues.

    commander dude

  29. 29 Skandé Bandé

    A decent effort overall. Very entertaining. Bartender is a good actor. Semhar is not bad either. I don’t think the writer/ director has ever pissed off a girl before though (lucky bastard), otherwise he would not have written and shot Semhar’s initial reaction that way…just prancing towards the elevator like she’s erikah badu. The reaction of every girlfriend I really really pissed off made me want to hide under my bed, trembling in the foetal position.

    The ending was a bit of a curve ball. The story line, the actors’ expressions, the movement of the camera and the color selection all suggested drama. But the ending was more of a comedy…”I cheated on you…I’m in love with her….It’s your best friend…Why don’t you join us in a ménage à trois?” The funniest part was his idea of the most convincing argument “JUST DO IT!”….oh how i wish that’s all it took……

  30. 30 EWNET

    The boyfriend is a lame actor .The bartender is good and mamush is the best .Semhar needs to work on acting VERY MAD.I think she will wakeup next to the bartender in the next episode.
    ménage à trois part is anything but abesha .Atleaset that was how it was.

  31. 31 Hidaya

    I think Episode one of Habesha Life is a good try…

    I think I liked the acting of the bartender the best, he looks like a natural actor at ease wit his lines, he emotes well seems to have a good timing and does not sound contrived, I like Mamush too for the same reason I like the bartender though their acting styles are different, in addition Mamush seems to have charisma that shines through his dialogue and body language, and so does the bartender but I think his charisma is one of a good actor as well as leading man both…

    I am not sure but I think Semhar might have potential though in her performace it didnt see much of it but I think it is there…camera work is danny Boyle style and it is quite good and not as jerky as it could have been wich some filmakers do, I am not nto black and white here it pans gently instead of jerk jerk…

    If it is one critism have it is in the dialogue and some of the performances it doesnt really ring true…there is no astonishment or sense of disbelief or even devasting pain or betrayal being conveyed at being told “in love with another woman ” when she is initiallly told of the other woman,just a straight to the point just who is she, followed by lets all keep it in the family which doesnt a bit surreal…

    and when she is talking to the bartender, she seems more devastated by the fact that her friend who had her way wih her man is an ugly something B as she called her to than the fact she was betrayed by both her friend and her BF… am I the only one who thinks this is misplaced emotion? and would the betrayal feel better if it was done by a beautiful girfriend instead of an ugly one?…other than that it is promising, thank you Nolawi for sharing it…

    I am looking forward o the next installment…

  32. 32 saronm3

    habesha life eh?
    i think its a really good, and interesting topic, i don’t know how much of this drama plays in the casual habesh house hold so far. if i think about habesha, then i think of the statistics that follow it, and episode one
    is not really pertaining it for me. awaiting for episode ttwo…

    nols, good post though.

  33. 33 Nolawi

    26

    biskut-
    I am not sensitive to comments- i think you are senstive to my reply- i am not dsicouraging anyone… just saying some people dont know what they are talking about!

  34. 34 Sigh

    Biskut,

    “casting
    For once habesha or abesha filmmakers did not choose an above average( on the looks part) , fair skinned girl with long hair .Thank God to that .”

    You’ve got issues. I think she’s pretty, above average.

    Somehow, I don’t think I’ll care how long or short your hair is, you don’t sound like you’d be pleasing to the eyes (or company).

    From my perspective. I’m sure (and hope) somebody else thinks you’re the shit.

  35. 35 ep

    Dinich,

    I think the picture is really great … I loved it.. i like the slow shutter speed feel, B&W and unstable camera … It has good dramatic feel, i guess. Good editing too!

    The audio is not that bad too … specially for not studio recorded sound..

    The story … not my type… Is this kind of story common in abesha life, and with all that blipping ???

  36. 36 helen

    I like the camerawork. The black and white was good too. The storyline was uninteresting so was the acting, with the exception of Mamush and maybe the bartender. Why did Semhar bring her purse with her when confronting her bf? and the bf was unintentionally comical “join us… it will be good for you” that was funny. The whole scene was contrived. They should work on the acting and the dialog. Hope it will keep getting better.

  37. 37 Anonx

    LoL dadude… I can just imagine what you will do to the French, to the delight of the stingy Brits, you will disappear the language.
    ——-
    The chick is hot and above average. F habesha or abesha cultural beauty references, twisted. I had pay this one more than the what’s considered above average if I were inclinded that way–assuming they are as well.

  38. 38 dawitm

    i actually like it in black and white. it made the lame acting look so authentic & exotic. overall, not bad for a low budget amateur film.

  39. 39 nifas

    I thought Semhar was good @ acting pissed specially the part in the Elevator. The threesome part seemed silly, loved the black and white. Good job, can’t wait to see Episode 2!

  40. 40 Nolawi

    I think the threesome part wast the funniest part.

    there is irony in it. Meaning people want the craziest things only because they don’t want yes answer!

    he was looking for a quick breakup

  41. 41 wudnesh

    I agree with comment 29 & 30.

    Comment 40, really? errrr…..

    Who cares whether one wants to say abesha or Habesha? If someone asks ‘r u h/abesha?’ we all know what they are asking! beqa! I find it funny when Eritreans answer ‘no, I am Eritrean!’ okkkk. Lol.

    Back to Episode 1, I hope the woman dates the bartender…oof, want to see more of him. Des yemil qebrara guy.

  42. 42 SelamT

    I like the black and white.

    This must be DC abesha life.

    In real life:

    1. If SHE Was just told by a boyfriend that he is cheating. She would have called her other girlfriend and then cry etc. And then the friend will tell her “he is not worth it, you could do better” etc.
    That will make her feel better.
    Then the friend will call the friend who IS Cheating. Then she will call her other friends etc.and the rest is history.
    It will be in the evening news.

    I would not have gone to Mamush. How many girl will go to a guy instead of a girlfriend?

    2. She needs to work on getting rally mad. Like slapping the hell out of him.

    3. will she be driving after drinking like that? maybe the next episode will tell us.

  43. 43 anonx

    Wud–
    I wish you had said ‘some’ Eritrean.If I generalize about ethio I would say: you all get mad if ever asked ‘r you ethiopian or eritrean?’ Let not get into though

  44. 44 biskut

    sigh

    YOU NEED TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH INSTEAD OF SIGNING MY DEAR.
    Beauty is subjective .what I percieve to be beautiful is what I percieve to be beautiful .You don’t have to agree with me.I think you are overreacting to my comments and yes I still think semhar is average ,run of the mill (on the physical part) abesha.
    BTW annox thinks otherwise , so you should take comfort in his comments and know that people think differently or even oppositely .AGAIN SUBJECTIVE YENE KONJO.

  45. 45 Addis Tunes

    I love the creative energy!! Just like early recordings of music, a lot of these films will one day be appreciated for the creator’s willingness to step out on a limb and try something different (i.e. B&W vs. color, etc.). I just enjoy watching the artists grow and evolve. Keep up the good work! Gobez!

    AddisTunes Home

  46. 46 anonx

    Lol at the beauty comments…me gonna turn the volume on now :)

    What of the moral of the story? I am buffled to think this is habesha life, its not…this can’t be the choices of men available to an habesha woman, americanized or not. More apt title should be : the pervert, thug wanna be,and joker available to habesha bitch in the process.it very cruel depiction of habesha men or its a fake ass idealization of ghetto life, nothing to write home about. If this thing turn out to be all about what a pervert wants, and the men ogling at a fat ass and the girl played like a pinball…. go sell it in the ghetto, aint buying it.

  47. 47 Skandé Bandé

    Addis Tunes I’m with you…it’s like how we made fun of the disco dancers on ‘Hibre Tireat’ growing up…and now you go on youtube and see it and you go ‘they were FUUNNKKKYYYYY!!!’

    #46….I am afraid you’re taking the whole thing a wee bit seriously…
    One cannot read too much into the title (except when it is to condemn the use of the letter H)…and besides, Abesha life or not, tacky or not, the themes in the piece are universal… love, jealousy, anger, faithfulness, insecurity…I saw the characters as individuals seeking self-actualization(thank you psychology 101)like the rest of us humans and not as stereotypes of Abesha men…

  48. 48 Masai

    I agree with annox on #46. The title is misleading and it should have been a different title. …say ‘betrayal’ ‘two-timer’. I was expecting more of the struggles and triumphs of Habesh in the western world and not some relationship drama.

  49. 49 Mamo

    Oh, it was boring. I didn’t see anything like habesha…ANYTHING! So, why are we watching this shit? Because we are habeshas and the guys who made the movie are habeshas too. This is crap!

    Nol, do u have to explain about the threesome part? How did you know what he was trying to say?

  50. 50 Wudnesh

    I agree with a lot of ppl here that a typical h/abesha life story was expected…and that this is far from h/abesha life (at least, I would like to think our men have more dignity than portrayed.)Hopefully, the next episode will be better.
    Annox(43), wasn’t generalising. Sorry if u felt that way. I find it funny when any h/abesha say s/he isn’t one…and it did happen many times when I was with Eritreans (of course it doesn’t mean all Eritreans say so…I know coz I am one and I do say ‘yes’ whenever I am asked if I was H/abesha).

  51. 51 Walid

    Well, I have to agree with most of you that the story line is shallow and (contrary to the title) decidedly un habesha/ unabesha. Most of all, it lacks context and structure which forced the episode to start and end abruptly. I really could not see a bridge line that will possibly connect this episode with the next. And the acting itself is a bit too artificial- and sometimes feels forced. The bf is the worst!

    I liked the B&W thing though.

  52. 52 Mikematic

    overall cinematography was excellent. acting was superb considering the fact that they are non-professional actors and probably their first time on screen…

  53. 53 nyalasmoke

    I have to tell y’all that this is mild compared to the purported inspiration of this series.

  54. 54 Anonx

    nyala- lol i sense soft porn in the making…

  55. 55 Bez

    The film shouldve been shot on a 7.2mm film instead of 8.mm, the sound board is set on the wrong wavelength that is why the scene fading is uneqivical, forshadowing needs ample work, the bridge is non existant, they need more donuts on set!!

    I have no idea what any of the above statements mean, I have no knowlegde on how to make a film, I just made it up.

    Nice work for a Pilot episode!!!

  56. 56 nyalasmoke

    haha anonx, soft-porn? no actually I would say more on the hardish side :) but Abesha’s coming up

  57. 57 Baheilu

    Man, three ways is also my dream, lol.
    My father used to have two or three wife’s, at the same time. Here I am in the US single and lonely lonely.

  58. 58 anonx

    Nyala in that case it true then wen do have gunz and drugz in the community

  59. 59 tpeace

    i hope the filmmakers have one about the strange phenomenon which is family relations in habeshalife

  60. 60 Gud

    Nolawi & co., why do you “hate” it when people use Habesha instead of Abesha?

    Please amuse me.

  61. 61 Fabay

    I enjoyed it… But need to be a bit fast paced before I recommend it to my friends…. I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE HE ASKED HER FOR THREESOME IS JUST ME WHO IS SURPRISED BY HIS REQUEST….. HE IS SUCH A KNUCKLEHEAD… Waiting 3 WEEKS IS TOOO LONG!!! Over all great JOB!!!!

  62. 62 Cowie

    Thanks, exactly what I was looking for. Saved me some time. :)

    Bookmarked

  63. 63 endalc

    .you know im saceard . for you .because . you went .to be made cansil . this your promiss . do you say im deel with .anaxose . so people tray to send for me something

  64. 64 Elle

    @ Nolawi:

    At the end of the day, what difference does it really make if they refer to it as ‘Habesha’ or ‘Abesha’? I have found your comments in the past to be quite intelligent and am disappointed by this one, as it seems uncharacteristic.

  65. 65 thalihasine

    i think it was a good production in terms of cinematography,yea it could have been better, but it tells the story! the story line could have been improved though, at times it feels like the director is taking too much time to build the story( at the beginning) and at the end it feels like the story is rushed …
    i.e where her boyfriend tells her to have a threesome… who the hell tells his girlfriend he is cheating, he is in love with another her friend and he wants a threesome in a short instance …

  66. 66 habesha homegirl

    @ Nolawi:
    its habesha in tigrinya and abesha in amharic. what’s ur deal with being upset with people when they pronounce it a different way. Both are correct in their own language!

    Languages aren’t wrong or right, they just are what they are. What is wrongly pronounced in one language may be correct in another. Its all a matter of your own perspective.

    So by being ticked off, you are giving the impression that you feel one language is better than another. which is definitely not true. Everyone’s language is beautiful, and it is not our place to judge

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