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Faya Dayi

Jessica Beshir 

USA – Ethiopia –  Qatar / 2021 / 120


Faya Dayi is the first feature film of the Mexican-Ethiopian Director Jessica Beshir, who spent part of her childhood in the historic city of Harar (Ethiopia). Semi-arid landscapes, at 1800 meters above sea level, where different ethnicities, languages, and beliefs have historically coexist, are the place where, during ten years, this incredible film work was done. Besides tracing the origin and transformation of Khat’s leaf tradition, this spiritual journey relates their impact on current Ethiopian youth. By following a Sufi tradition legend that tells about the journey of pious emir Azurkherlaini in his search for the Spring of eternal life, it is set up an elaborated job of evocation through the image. Through a storytelling and plastic construction that subtly exposes the principles of the duality of the properties of the Khat – light and dark -, the attentive glance of the director is evidenced.  Without haste and thanks to its graphic purity, Faya Dayi is presented as the testimony of a certain state of the world. 

By Bíbata Uribe



Visions du Réel – Nyon (Suisse) – Grand Prix – Compétition Internationale Longs Métrages & Prix de la critique internationale – Prix FIPRESCI.


Producers and Promoters: Jessica Beshir, Merkhana Films, FEYATEY, LLC, MUBI | Photography: Jessica Beshir | Sound: Tom Efinger | Editing: Jeanne Applegate, Dustin Waldman



Saturday, October 30th, 3:00 p.m.  

Movie only available on-site


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