(Jessica Beshir, 2021, 120 min, Ethiopia, Oromiffa and Harari with English subtitles, B&W, DCP)
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 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.
-- Winner of the Grand Jury Award, the Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award, and the Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award at the 2021 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival! [View the Full Frame Q&A with Faya Dayi director Jessica Beshir.]
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