Hairat: Jessica Beshir’s Docu of Harar and its Hyenas

Hyenas skulk through these award-winning works of African cinema.
In her meditative experimental documentary Hairat, Jessica Beshir (who introduces the film on the Criterion Channel) returns to her childhood home of Ethiopia to create a loving portrait of Yussuf Mume Saleh, a man who has spent the last thirty-five years journeying at night through the city of Harar to feed packs of hyenas.
In Souleymane Cissé’s landmark film Yeelen, a young man flees from his sorcerer father at the behest of his mother and embarks on a spiritual odyssey, during which he encounters an oracle in the form of a hyena god.
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