Faya Dayi

  • 120'
  • Ethiopia
  • 2021

“Why did you come back?” a boy asks his slightly older friend. “For my mother”, the teenager replies. He reflects that he could be in Egypt now, or even further away – a costly, hazardous journey. Many Ethiopians take a different means of escape. They chew the stimulating leaves of the khat plant – now Ethiopia’s most lucrative agricultural product, having overtaken coffee.

For some ten years, Jessica Beshir regularly returned from New York to the part of Ethiopia where she was born. Shot in rich, poetic black and white, her debut feature-length film unfolds in layers of impression, eschewing traditional documentary techniques. Faya Dayi not only shows what they do, but manages to capture their experience of life, switching smoothly between the khat industry, intimate meetings and reflections, warmth and tragedy, spirituality, an ancient khat myth and stories of repression and resistance. And, above all, the dreams of youth.

On demand

Watch online at a time that suits you best. Available on demand during a set and limited period. The following applies to films: after you press start, you have - within the availability period - a maximum of 24 hours to finish watching.

    • From Wednesday 02 June 12:00Wed 02 Jun 12:00
    • to Saturday 05 June 12:00Sat 05 Jun 12:00
    EN subtitles

    Not available anymore

Screenings and Tickets

Experience screenings or events at a scheduled time, together with other festival visitors. Both physical and online.
Read our Covid-19 safety protocol (about testing for access) before buying tickets and again before visiting the festival.

  • Physical
    Wednesday 02 June 2021
    Cinerama 5
    EN subtitles
  • Physical
    Thursday 03 June 2021
    LantarenVenster 2
    With live Q&A+EN subtitles
  • Physical
    Friday 04 June 2021
    Pathé 3
    With live Q&A+EN subtitles
  • Physical
    Saturday 05 June 2021
    Pathé 4
    EN subtitles
  • Physical
    Sunday 06 June 2021
    Pathé 6
    EN subtitles
Jessica Beshir
Countries of production
Ethiopia, USA, Qatar
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2021
Jessica Beshir
Cinetic Media
Jessica Beshir
Jessica Beshir
Jeanne Applegate, Dustin Waldman
Production Design
Jessica Beshir
Sound Design
Tom Efinger
William Basinski, Adrian Aniol, Mehandis Geleto, Kaethe Hostetter