Woven is an intricate tale of love and loss that takes place in present day Brooklyn, New York. The film opens by introducing us to Ethiopian-born Elenie Tariku and her traditional Ethiopian family. As Elenie and her mother converse about marriage, the ways in which Elenie’s plans for companionship differ from her mother’s expectations become apparent. While Elenie seemingly embraces her Ethiopian lineage, her dreams of partnership in the United States are much different than what is expected by family tradition. In the midst of dinner, Elenie’s brother is suddenly called away to work and the two of them exchange goodbyes. It is unknown to Elenie that this is the last time she will see him alive.
After receiving a call that her brother has been killed in an accident, Elenie moves back in with her mother and turns her focus to figuring out how to get her life back on track. During this time, she meets Logan, whose son, Charley, has been seeing Elenie for therapy. In addition to combating behavioral issues with Charley, Logan and his wife are having trouble seeing eye to eye in their marriage.
Through their conversations and the time they spend together, Elenie and Logan find commonality in their struggles. Though their backgrounds are drastically different, the two are able to meet each other halfway and serve as a reminder that everyone battles difficulties in their life. Suddenly Elenie and Logan’s relationship takes several unexpected turns, and the two must find a way to reach a resolution.
Not only is the story captivating, directors Nagwa Ibrahim and Salome Mulugeta bring Ethiopian-American narratives to American cinema in a way that does not reduce the immigrant experience to those traditionally depicted in films. Ultimately, Woven is a film with beautiful lessons on family, relationships, and ultimately finding inner peace and the place where we each belong.
“Woven is a story that revolves around the lives of two families, Ethiopian and American, who are interwoven around a mysterious tragic event. It’s a movie that will take you on a journey of rich culture, emotions, tragic events, and then unfold into a beautiful message….This film is intended to capture the visual beauty of Ethiopian culture and traditions, rarely depicted in American cinema while also highlighting the importance of the immigrant experience in the fabric of American culture, which we feel is particularly relevant at a time when xenophobia is on the rise.”
― Salome Mulugeta and Nagwa Ibrahim
The co-director/co-writer/producer of the film, Salome Mulugeta also stars as the lead in the film. Mulugeta has directed countless commercials and short films, and has contributed shows such as The African Restaurant Week, Muziki Ni, and A Day in the Life Of for the US based African channel. Co-director, Nagwa Ibrahim is an attorney who specializes in immigration law and criminal defense. Through her travels and work as an attorney, she learned about how extraordinary and inspiring the human experience is through the stories of real people, which inspired her to become a filmmaker.
Check out the trailer below!