Faya dayi / directed, filmed, written and produced by Jessica Beshir ; a Merkhana Films production in association with XTR ; in association with Neon Heart Productions ; in association with Flies Collective.

Video/Projected medium
  • Amharic
  • Oromo
  • Semitic languages
Director approved blu-ray special edition.
  • [New York, NY] : The Criterion Collection, [2022]
  • ©2022
1 videodisc (118 min.) : sound, black & white/color ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 folded sheet (12 pages : black and white illustrations ; 17 cm)


Film director
Film producer
Director of photography
Writer of supplementary textual content
Composer (expression
Editor of moving image work
Composer (expression)
Production company
Library of Congress genre(s)
  • 4 3/4 in.
  • monochrome polychrome rdacc
Summary note
A sublime work of personal vision, the debut feature by the Mexican Ethiopian filmmaker Jessica Beshir is a hypnotic documentary immersion in the world of Ethiopia's Oromo and Harari communities, places where one commodity khat, a euphoria-inducing plant once prized for its supposedly mystical properties holds sway over the rituals and rhythms of everyday life. As if under the influence of the drug itself, Faya Dayi unfurls as intoxicating, trance state cinema, capturing intimate moments in the existence of everyone from the harvesters of the crop to people lost in its narcotic haze to a desperate but determined younger generation searching for an escape from the region's political strife. The director's exquisite monochrome cinematography each frame a masterpiece sculpted from light and shadow and the film's time-bending, elliptical editing create a ravishing sensory experience that hovers between consciousness and dreaming.
  • Originally released as a motion picture in 2021.
  • Wide screen (1.78:1).
  • Accompanied by folded sheet (12 pages) containing an essay by film scholar Yasmin Price.
  • Special features: New selected-scene commentary featuring Beshir and poet Ladan Osman; Three short films by Beshir: He who dances on wood (2016), Heroin (2017), and Hairat (2017), featuring an introduction by Beshir; trailer; plus: an essay by film scholar Yasmin Price.
Creation/​Production credits
Edited by Jeanne Applegate, Dustin Waldman ; original song "Kenna uumaa" written and performed by Mehandis Geleto ; music by William Basinski, Adrian Aniol, Kaethe Hostetter.
System details
Blu-ray; region A; DTS-HD master audio 5.1 surround; requires Blu-ray player.
Language note
In Oromo, Harari, and Amharic with English subtitles.
  • 9781681439693
  • 1681439697
Publisher no.
Universal Product Code
  • 715515275514
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