Abraham and Sarah II: Hosting the Gundagundo Pilgrims

Germany, Ethiopia

41´, 2019.


Tesfahun Haddis


Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology


A Tigrean farmer and his wife, who host pilgrims to a festival at the Gundagundo monastery, have gained the biblical names Abraham and Sarah. We see Sarah and other women prepare food and drink for the pilgrims, while Abraham and other men erect a shelter. At dawn dozens of pilgrims descend the steepescarpment, eventually arriving at Gundagundo where celebrations are in full swing. We witness highlights of the festival, and the pilgrims' return to the homestead of Abraham and Sarah. Here they receive food, drink and shelter, and sing the praises of their hosts. At midnight visitors arrive with an old, sick monk. Before the guests depart next morning, a monk thanks and blesses Abraham and Sarah.


Tesfahun Haddis was born 1986 in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia and studied Theatre and Development at Addis Ababa University. Currently he is a Ph.D. candidate as well as lecturer at Mekelle University. In addition, he runs a film school together with Zufan Cherkos offering courses on camera techniques, film editing, acting, script writing and directing. In 2016, Professor Ivo Strecker engaged him as cameraman for the film “Abraham & Sarah I” and since then he has become chief camera man in the Max Plank Institute (MPI) film series Guardians of Productive Landscapes and has directed his own film “Abraham & Sarah II”.He also is conducting fieldwork for a Ph.D. thesis entitled "The work ethos of a Tigray farmer".