Ethiopia, Qatar, United States | 2021 | Jessica Beshir
Khat is Ethiopia’s biggest cash crop and a plant that Sufi Muslims chew to aid meditation and transcendence. It is also the subject of this mesmerizing new nonfiction film. Shot in sumptuous b&w with emphasis on light, textures, and sounds, this languid movie tries to replicate the mellow, woozy euphoria induced by the drug. “[Constructs] a loose intergenerational narrative around the elder harvesters for whom khat is both their daily bread and daily escape, and the youngsters keen to escape its enveloping, addictive aura…A mood piece that seeks to evoke the leaf’s own perception-altering properties.” –Variety. Cleveland premiere. Subtitles. DCP. 120 min.
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