Faya Dayi

Directed by Jessica Beshir

From Mexican-Ethiopian director and cinematographer Jessica Beshir, Faya Dayi is a lyrical, spiritual journey into the rituals and trade practices of Khat: a stimulant green leaf that – according to Ethiopian legend – was founded by Sufi Imams in search of eternity.

A hypnotic blend of documentary and drama, this immersive experience weaves a tapestry of intimate stories of people for whom chewing the lucrative crop has become both a radical escape and a space of socialisation and revolt against oppressive forces. For the unemployed, oppressed youth and elders alike, the high achieved from Khat (the state of Merkhana) is the only place where their hopes, dreams and aspirations can live.

Nominated for the World Cinema – Documentary award at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.


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Full English

145 minutes

Country of origin:
Ethiopia and USA

Year of production: