7.00pm , 4.00pm
Faya Dayi [In-Person Only]
$13 General Admission
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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.
(Jessica Beshir, Ethiopia, US & Qatar, 2021, 120 min, in Oromiffa & Harari with English subtitles)
Description and images on this page courtesy of Janus Films
** With music by William Basinski, Adrian Aniol & Kaethe Hostetter **
“Filmed in luminous black and white, each image more beautiful than the last, Faya Dayi is not your typical documentary.” – Sheila O’Malley, RogerEbert.com
“The languid rhythms of the filmmaking mirror the woozy impact of the drug, while a storytelling style that flickers casually between observational verité and esoteric myth-building suggests an in-and-out grasp on reality.” – Guy Lodge, Variety