Faya Dayi

Faya Dayi Movie Poster

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 the rural Oromo community of farmers, and the harvesting of the country's most sought-after, profitable 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.

Director: Jessica Beshir

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