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Faya Dayi (2021)

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5 GiB00544
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A spiritual journey into the highlands of Harar, immersed in the rituals of khat, a leaf Sufi Muslims chewed for centuries for religious meditations - and Ethiopia's most lucrative cash crop today.

Jessica Beshir

Jessica Beshir


The other day I happened across the long list of 2022's Documentary Features for the Academy Awards. I would like to delve into their archives of past documentaries, not just for long/shortlist, but all of the 200+ entries per year of various documentaries that are not as well known as the ones that get big.

TheCorsair00 wrote:

I happened across the long list of 2022's Documentary Features for the Academy Awards.

Got a link? :)

It was posted on a background image on an Instagram Story, which deletes after 24 hours. I wrote some of them down in a text file though: Ascension, Attica, Faya Dayi, The First Wave, Flee, In the Same Breath, Julia, President, Procession, The Rescue, Simple As Water, Summer of Soul, The Velvet Underground, Writing With Fire

I am going through them each to see if they are on PassThePopcorn. So far, so good...


There was also some documentary about Billie Eilish, but I didn't bother to write that one down or look for it! Although she is kinda cool...

Beshir left Ethiopia very young, returning as an adult struck to see khat’s dominance. As the cinematographer and producer, the images describe the moods of presence, absence, and longing sensed from her changed community. Ritualistic objects and dramatic scenes, like those two kids bathing in something looking like mud. A voice-over recalls the Sufi tale seeking eternal life. There is a sense of a contemplative search for what feels lost or perhaps escape from an altered homeland of today.

It also has a really dreamy, ambient soundtrack. I recognized a few of the tracks used, as they are from ambient musician William Basinski. I listen to it a fair amount.