Tumult (1996)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Political Drama  |   Run Time - 117 min.  |   Countries - United States   |  
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Set in Ethiopa, 1960 during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie (though his name is never mentioned in the story), this drama chronicles a failed revolutionary coup staged by a fiery young college graduate. The story begins at a posh Addis Ababa dinner party where Yoseph, who just graduated from a US college, muses over his place in Ethiopian society. No one there realizes that idealistic Yoseph is planning to bring Western-style politics to Ethiopia by trying to overthrow the government the next day while the emperor and his staff are visiting Brazil. No sooner does the royal plane take off than Yoseph and his followers stage their coup. It is a miserable failure and afterward Yoseph flees back to his family and friends to hide. Unfortunately, not all of them agree with his actions and some betray him. In the story's climax, Yoseph must confront his lifelong pal Dejen, a gatekeeper's son. To make this film, first-time helmer Yemane I. Demisssie received a grant from the American Film Institute and the National Endowment for the Arts It was entirely shot in Los Angeles and features a cast of non-professional Ethiopian-Americans.