“Faya Dayl,” a black and white spiritual journey into the harvest of khat, a plant chewed for centuries as part of religious ceremonies, opens Nov. 19 at Nebraska’s Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center.
Also showing are “The French Dispatch” and “Beans.”
Directed by Ethiopian-Mexican filmmaker Jessica Beshir, “Faya Dayl” features khat — a leaf chewed for centuries as part of Sufi Muslim religions meditations. Set in Beshir’s hometown, Harar, Ethiopia, follows a rural Oromo community of farmers as they harvest the plant, which is the African nation’s most lucrative and euphoria-inducing cash crop.
Shot in black and white, the film is dreamlike, using light, texture and sound to illuminate the spiritual lives of people whose experiences too often become the fodder for ripped-from-the-headlines tales of immigration.
“Faya Dayl,” which is not rated, shows at the Ross through Dec. 2.
Directed by Tracey Deer, “Beans” features actress Kiawantiio Tarbell in the lead role as Beans, a 12-year-old torn between innocent childhood and reckless adolescence.
When the Oka Crisis, a turbulent summer of 1990 standoff between two Mohawk communities and Canadian government forces, breaks out, Beans is forced to grow up fast. To weather the 78-day standoff, Beans strives to become a tough Mohawk warrior.
“Beans,” which is not rated, shows at the Ross through Nov. 25.
Featuring an ensemble cast, “The French Dispatch” brings to life a collection of stories from the final issue of the fictional, Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun newspaper — which is published in a fictional 20th century French city.
Described by Anderson as a, “love letter to journalists,” the film stars Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Jeffrey Wright, Mathieu Amalric, Stephen Park, Bill Murray and Owen Wilson.
“The French Dispatch,” which is rated R for language, graphic nudity and some sexual references, shows at the Ross through Nov. 18.