Vengeance may be sweet, unless you live in Ethiopia and are a 14-year- old girl who doesn't see kidnapping, beating, and rape as acceptable courtship rituals; instead, in desperation, our plucky heroine shoots (and kills) her attacker...with his own gun. Based on an extraordinary true story, the 2014 Seattle International Film festival is honored to screen this award-winning drama from Ethiopia (Audience Awards at both Sundance and Berlin film festivals).

Directed by Zeresenay Mehari, we watch Hirut (played by Tizita Hagere) frantically try to outrun the horsemen who surround and capture her. Her subsequent beating and rape are considered tradition by the men in the village, after all, that is how her older sister became a wife (to a drunk) and mother of four. After her arrest the men in the village demand her death, therein lies our story, which is at the heart of the legal system in Ethiopia.

The lawyer who comes to her rescue is Meaza Ashenafi, played by Meron Getnet. This bright young woman is determined to drag Addis Abaya (that's how it's spelled in the captions) into the 21st century, with justice for all, including the women! The lawyer for the plaintiff (the dead man's father) claims Herut can't be 14 because "her breasts are too big and christening records are notoriously inaccurate."

It's interesting to watch a girl from a village try to cope with modern living, such as a telephone, television or a soft bed (she finally sleeps on the floor). Her biggest challenge however, is homesickness for her mother and little sister. In real life, the lawyer risked everything on this court case and they really DID make changes for the better. Of course, it still isn't a perfect world, but with people like these folks still trying, there is hope! We were inspired.