Faya Dayi

Opens Oct 29, 2021


Official Selection True/False 2021

Khat is a mildly narcotic evergreen shrub native to East Africa, chewed for centuries by Sufi Muslims in their religious meditations and now traded as a cash crop. Faya Dayi presents a luminous portrait of the flowering plant and the commerce-driven culture that surrounds it. The euphoric excursion takes us through khat fields and factories in the highlands of Harar, Ethiopia, and introduces us to a pair of brothers who contemplate a better life.
Enchantment abounds in this dreamlike, immersive film, as Beshir weaves together a tapestry of intimate stories and lyrical sequences. The lush black-and-white cinematography blends lived experiences with illusory reverie and allows the mythic undertones to rise to the surface. This is a beguiling debut feature that marks the arrival of a major new talent.
– Amir George (Programmer, True/False)


"A spiritual journey"
–Tambay Obenson, IndieWire

"Dreamy and visually dazzling"
–Beatrice Loayza, The New York Times