Faya Dayi. 2021. Ethiopia/USA. Directed by Jessica Beshir. In Amharic, Harari, Oromiffa; English subtitles. 120 min.
Tickets for in-person films are available to members at the Explore category and above beginning two weeks before each screening. Additional tickets will be released, to members as well as the general public, one week before each screening.
In her hypnotic documentary feature, Ethiopian-Mexican filmmaker Jessica Beshir explores the coexistence of everyday life and its mythical undercurrents. Though a deeply personal project—Beshir was forced to leave her hometown of Harar with her family as a teenager due to growing political strife—the film she returned to make about the city, its rural Oromo community of farmers, and the harvesting of the country’s most sought-after export (the euphoria-inducing khat plant) is neither a straightforward work of nostalgia nor an issue-oriented doc about a particular drug culture. Rather, she has constructed something dreamlike: a film that uses light, texture, and sound to illuminate the spiritual lives of people whose experiences often become fodder for ripped-from-the-headlines tales of migration.