"A poetic study of a country intoxicated into listlessness." - Robert Daniels, rogerebert.com
"Beshir’s melancholy documentary gently cradles the ambiguity that defines the essence of the lives of Ethiopian Khat trader." - Sheri Flanders, Chicago Reader
"A nonfiction work of sensory immersion that's part anthropology, part poetry." - Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter
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. (Janus Films)
Festivals, Awards & Nominations
Winner - Audience Award (Markers), Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
Winner - FIPRESCI Prize, Nyon Visions du Réel
Winner - Grand Prix, International Feature Film Competition, Nyon Visions du Réel
Nominee - Grand Jury Prize, World Cinema - Documentary, Sundance Film Festival
Updated COVID-19 Protocols
We care deeply about the well-being and safety of our audiences and staff. With the recent rise of COVID-19 cases, we are updating our health and safety procedures to require proof of full vaccination* or a negative result on a COVID PCR test for all screenings and events at the Film Center.
We know it can be hard to enjoy a movie without knowing the status of the folks sitting close to you. Our hope is that these new procedures will allow you to relax and view our films in the way they’re meant to be seen--with your undivided attention to the screen.
Beginning on Friday, September 10, you will need a valid photo ID and one of the following items to gain entry to the Film Center:
- Physical vaccination card
- A legible photo, copy, or scan of your card; an image on your phone will be acceptable provided that it is legible
- Proof of a negative result on a COVID PCR test conducted within 72 hours of the film or event start time
*Full vaccination means any vaccine for COVID-19 which has received full or emergency use approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO). Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series or a single dose from a one-dose series of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use by the FDA or WHO.
You will need to show proof of vaccination status or a negative PCR test result as you enter the theater.
Children under 12 will not be permitted in the theater, since they are not yet eligible to receive a vaccine.
In addition, the Film Center will continue to implement the following safety protocols:
- In accordance with the Governor's recent Executive Order, all patrons and staff will be required to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth at all times while in the theater
- Staggered showtimes and ample time between shows to mitigate crowds
- Ticket pre-orders for films encouraged to reduce lines and guarantee seats
- Hand sanitizer and disposable face masks available for patrons
- Only 80% of our tickets will be available for sale
- No eating or drinking will be permitted in the theater; no concessions will be sold
The Film Center reserves the right to require patrons who do not follow these procedures to leave the theater immediately.
As always, if you are feeling unwell for any reason, please stay home and stream films instead of joining us at the theater. We are happy to refund or exchange your ticket for another time. In addition, please understand that while these updated procedures are intended to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19, there is nonetheless inherent risk to exposure in any indoor space where others are present. Those entering the theater do so at their own risk to such exposure.
If you have already purchased a ticket for a screening on Friday, September 10 (or beyond) but are unable to comply with these new procedures, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a refund.
We appreciate your cooperation and support as we continue to navigate the ever-changing COVID landscape.
See you at the movies!
--Your Friends at the Film Center