DIFRET – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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difretposter Difret is an Amharic word — that’s the language of Ethiopia — that has a double meaning: “to dare” and also “the act of being raped.” Which is a bizarre duality to my Western ears, but difret is here embodied by 14-year-old Hirut Assefa (Tizita Hagere), who is kidnapped on her way home from her small village school to her family’s farm, held prisoner, and raped by a man who intends to make her his wife. Abducting girls for the purpose of forced marriage is all perfectly normal in rural Ethiopia, but Hirut has the unfeminine audacity to fight back, and she shoots her rapist and would-be “husband” dead. (He was dumb enough to leave her alone with his gun. Or perhaps it never occurred to him that she would use it.) Read more>>

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MaryAnn Johanson

MaryAnn Johanson is a freelance writer on film, TV, DVD, and pop culture from New York City and now based in London. She is the webmaster and sole critic at FlickFilosopher.com, which debuted in 1997 and is now one of the most popular, most respected, and longest-running movie-related sites on the Internet. Her film reviews also appear in a variety of alternative-weekly newspapers across the U.S. Johanson is one of only a few film critics who is a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (the Webby organization), an invitation-only, 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, LBC-London, and on local radio programs across North America, and she served as a judge at the first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival at the 2003 I-Con, the largest SF convention on the East Coast. She is the author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and is an award-winning screenwriter. Read Johanson's recent articles below. For her AWFJ.org archive, type "MaryAnn Johanson" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).