Screening Dates
  • November 18, 2021 6:00
  • November 20, 2021 8:40
  • November 21, 2021 7:00
  • November 22, 2021 8:30
  • November 24, 2021 6:00
New Cinema

A sensorial viewing experience …. Beshir’s film settles into a mythical space where the struggles of everyday life and future dreams blend together.”

Caitlin Quinlan, Sight and Sound

Ethiopian-Mexican filmmaker Jessica Beshir’s feature-length debut is an ethereal, immersive tale of youthful yearning and social unrest set against the production of khat, the euphoria-inducing stimulant, valued by Sufi mystics, that has become one of Ethiopia’s biggest cash crops. Beshir’s film is also a documentary, of sorts, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it, so fully does it enter the dreamy dramatic realm of cinema poets such as Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Claire Denis, and Terrence Malick. A sublime work of trance-state cinema … As if under the intoxicating influence of the drug itself, Faya Dayi unfurls as a hallucinogenic cinematic reverie, capturing hushed, intimate moments in the existences of everyone from the harvesters of the crop to people lost in its narcotic haze to a desperate but determined younger generation searching for an escape from the [Harari] region’s political strife. The film’s exquisite monochrome cinematography and time-bending, elliptical editing create a ravishing sensory experience that hovers between consciousness and dreaming” (Janus Films). In Amharic, Harari, and Oromo with English subtitles.

Beshir’s hypnotic, immersive, and very beautiful documentary marks an impressive feature debut … The combination of human stories and haunting imagery leaves a lasting impression.”

Allan Hunter, Screen Daily

Mesmeric, seductive … Well-served by Beshir’s knack for stunning image-making … An arresting arrival for its solo director-writer-producer-DP.”

Guy Lodge, Variety