FAYA DAYI – Review by Diane Carson

Faya dayi follows khat production and intrusion into Ethiopian life. Describing the content of director Jessica Beshir’s Ethiopian documentary film Faya dayi doesn’t do justice to the gorgeous, hallucinatory black-and-white footage. More specifically, this two-hour experience invites a meditative, dreamlike state complemented by exquisite music. That does not minimize the information presented through stirring visuals, primarily, that Ethiopia now relies on khat as its main cash crop.

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FAYA DAYI – Review by Leslie Combemale

The feature debut of Mexican Ethiopian filmmaker Jessica Bashir, Faya Dayi immerses its audience in a visually rich, hypnotic world that feels as hallucinogenic, languid, and euphoric as a drug trip. Centered in rural Ethiopia, the documentary transcends traditional storytelling as it relays the hopes and challenges of Ethiopians trapped working in the Khat trade. The name of the film means “giving birth to wellness”, and is part of a hymnal chant that farmers in Harar chant while they’re harvesting.

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