Image of movie Faya Dayi
Image of movie Faya Dayi
Image of movie Faya Dayi

Faya Dayi

Jessica Beshir
Äthiopien, USA, Katar 2021
118 min

In dieser Erstlingsarbeit dreht sich alles um die Blätter des Khat-Strauches, die eine psychotrope Wirkung entfalten und zum bedeutendsten Anbauprodukt Äthiopiens geworden sind. Dokumentiert werden Anbau, Ernte und Verkauf der Pflanze im Schatten eines Bürgerkrieges und angesichts einer wachsenden Unzufriedenheit vor allem unter jungen Männern. Dabei beweist Beshir mit suggestiver Schwarzweiß-Dramaturgie erstaunliche Sensibilität für Atmosphären und Lichtwirkungen, für Schattenspiele und dämonische Leinwandeffekte. FAYA DAYI ist eine poetische Inkantation, komponiert aus Bildern, die wie sepiagetönte Postkarten aus einer anderen Zeit wirken. (Thomas Mießgang)

Many Oromo people feel “exiled within their own country” in multi-national Ethiopia. They find solace in their religion, a Sufi brand of Islam. Many also resort to khat, a local plant that has similar effects to amphetamines. Khat is a state of mind as well as the basis for a huge economy in Beshir’s somber FAYA DAYI. The black-and-white imagery is the most apparent distancing effect in this documentary, which somehow creates an immersive effect at the same time.
Several protagonists feature as representatives of a torn community: two young boys dream of passage to Europe, hopefully via Egypt, which already seems very far away. A young woman named Fatima is rejected from a relationship in which she had hoped to find stability. A young man desperately strives not to become like his father, who has fallen prey to khat.
Jessica Beshir was born to an Ethiopian father and a Mexican mother and has lived both in Harar in Ethiopia and in New York. With FAYA DAYI, she creates a portrait of her homeland both from the / as well as from the imagined perspective of those consuming khat, which is conjured up with considerable artistry: the film is “stoned” and critical, mystical and sharply observational at the same time. (Bert Rebhandl)

Jessica Beshir: HE WHO DANCES ON WOOD (2016, K), HAIRAT (2017, K), HEROIN (2017, K)

  • Mohammed Arif
  • Bekala Ismail
  • Ibrahim Mohammed
  • Hashim Abdi
  • Wedadi Ederis
  • Biniam Yonas
  • Jessica Beshir
  • Jessica Beshir
  • Dustin Waldman
  • Jeanne Applegate
  • William Basinski
  • Adrian Aniol
  • Kaethe Hostetter
Merkhana Films, XTR, Neon Heart Productions, Flies Collective


Fr. 22 Okt
Do. 28 Okt
Stadtkino im Künstlerhaus
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