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同事哈勒尔的贫瘠的高地r government, the Oromo people of Ethiopia struggle with land divisions and ownership. Due to climate change, the rain no longer falls as it used to, and the longtime staple crop coffee is unable to grow to the previous standards required for selling. “The scent of coffee has changed,” as one farmer puts it.In its place, the lucrative khat grows freely in dry weather. The impacts of climate and an unfair regime on these farmers are just some of the subjects in Jessica Beshir’s documentaryFaya Dayi. Beshir herself has deep connections to these issues; he grew up in Harar, but her family had to leave when she was a teenager due to political unrest. The film is her return home,a space to reconcile and reconfigure.

Faya Dayi

Khat,一种强烈的兴奋剂,被咀嚼如烟草,它伴随着自己的社会风俗。咀嚼khat传统上是一种连接到上帝,地球,人民和之间的一切的方式。这部电影呈现出无数的手指,使机器类似于收获叶子出售,跳舞茎,捆扎袋,称重,计数,灌装卡车 - 贸易,出口,重复。但无法找到工作时会发生什么?为了寻找机会,人们冒着生活越过水域和边界,将自己与家人和社区分开。家庭也被滥用杀伤刺激。瘾君子的一个年轻的儿子对他失踪的母亲进行了一个想象中的吸引力,以寻求他的父亲,呼唤空中,没有反应。

Similar indirect communicative methods conjure a haunted Harar. References to a Harari legend guide the film — the story of Azuekherlaini, who was tasked by God to find Maoul Hayat,the water of eternal life.Voiceovers are used to represent absent figures, sending laments to each other across shots of the highlands. That landscape’s ever-changing nature is made evident through images like a dried-up lake, contrasted with archival footage of a time when it was full. Water too becomes a memory.

Faya Dayi

漂浮在纪录片和诗歌之间的空间中,Beshir跟随Tina Campt’s concept of still-moving-images, which “require the labor of feeling with or through them.” Two boys talk about their mothers and the possibilities of leaving Harar. The film literally slows down during the pauses in their conversation, allowing moments for the audience to locate and dislocate their breath. Some shots are so still that they could be mistaken for photographs. Emotional, mystical, and abstract,Faya Dayigrants viewers entry into the many rituals of khat. It’s a tribute to land kinship, as well as those who have lost it, and the youth who embark on risky voyages from the land in the hope of better lives.

Faya Dayiis playing as part of New Directors/New Films. Theatrical screenings at Film at Lincoln Center take place 5/7 and 5/10, and it will be available to stream via the FLC and MoMA virtual cinemas 5/8-5/13.

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Natasha Ruwona

Natasha Thembiso Ruwona is a Scottish-Zimbabwean artist, researcher, and programmer. They are interested in Afrofuturist storytelling through the poetics of landscape across various media, including digital...

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