Directed by Jessica Beshir
$12 / $8 Speed members
“The feel is dreamlike, like a falling dusk, even when the concerns are concrete.”—Nicolas Rapold, The New York Times
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. A selection of the Sundance Film Festival and shortlisted for the Best Feature Documentary Oscar. 2021, Ethiopia, DCP, in Amharic with English subtitles, 120 minutes. Recommended for 16+.