‘Faya Dayi’ Ravishing Documentary about Ethiopian Khat Trade Nominated for the 94th Oscars


Produced by Ethiopian-Mexican filmmaker Jessica Beshir, “Faya Dayi” has been nominated for the 94th Oscar-winning documentary.

The documentary is chiefly a collection of grand shots of beautiful scenery, close-ups of strong faces, and medium frames from the rear, mostly of women, traditionally dressed, which means covered from head to toe in Islamic chador — a full-length cloak typically held closed at the front by the wearer’s hands or under their arms. This renders them virtually unrecognizable, almost like apparitions, especially at 180 frames-per-second.

It’s certainly possible that Beshir’s intent was to make a statement about the invisibility of women in Harar. JessicaBeshir stated that it took her ten years to complete the documentary earlier this year.

It navigates addiction, migration, business, childhood, spirituality, love, nature, political imprisonment, femininity, freedom struggle, death, youth, despair, loneliness, dreams, family, and identity.

The two-hour ‘Feya Dai’ has been featured in several international venues, including the world-famous Sundance and True/False Film Fest, Awarded at the prestigious ‘Visions du Reel’ documentary festival in Switzerland and awarded at Full Frame Doc Film Festival.


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