Athens International Film Festival
aiff

FAYA DAYI

23/09/2021, 21:45, STELLA
3/10/2021, 21:45, RIVIERA

Khat is an ancient drug used frequently by the people of Africa and the Middle East,especially by Sufis who would chew the leaves as a means for religious mediation (known as “merkana”). Nowadays, it plays a determining role in Ethiopia’s economy as it is the country’s main export. Through a personal story, a hypnotic documentary made of soundscapes and textures shaped by sunlight, document’s Khat’s footprint on a nation surrendered to its euphoric hallucinations.

ETHIOPIA, USA, QATAR | 2021 | B&W | DCP | 120’ | OROMIFFA, HARARI

Documentaries tend to take us along a journey. However the best of them beam us up to another world. ‘Faya Dayi’ is completely otherworldly. With a hypnotic rhythm, evocative sound design and black and white cinematography ensuring an impressive, haunted stylization, we travel to eastern Ethiopia, another African region where people were forgotten and were left chewing khat, the laurel-like leaf that has a slightly narcotic quality, putting the body to sleep and waking the mind to the rhythm of lost lives and past loves. Exemplary art-house, which deals, in its way, with every burning political issue of our world’s terrible inequality (finance, environment, immigration) and hopes that in the end you will feel privileged – and maybe a bit more responsible. I.D.

DIRECTOR: Jessica Beshir
SCREENWRITER: Jessica Beshir
DoP: Jessica Beshir
MUSIC: William Basinksi, Adrian Aniol, Mehandis Geleto, Kaethe Hostetter
EDITORS: Jeanne Applegate, Dustin Waldman

JESSICA BESHIR
Director born in Mexico, who grew up in Ethiopia. She studied Film at UCLA. She has directed several short documentaries and a work for television. This is her feature film debut.

FILMOGRAPHY
2021
Faya Dayi



    Publication date: 2021-09-14 00:00:02

    COW

    COW

    The top British director of our times, responsible for some of the most catalytic indies of the last two decades (“Red Road”, “Fish Tank”, “American Honey”), tries her hand at a documentary and brings us within breathing distance of the daily routine of a cow. And if that sounds boring, Arnold's absolute methodical approach, which she utilises to move from poetic to rugged realism, promises to disrupt the way we see animals and the valuable things they provide, just as she did at the recent Cannes Film Festival.

    DEBT

    DEBT

    MARINER OF THE MOUNTAINS / MARINHEIRO DAS MONTANHAS

    MARINER OF THE MOUNTAINS / MARINHEIRO DAS MONTANHAS

    Cannes Award winner Karim Aïnouz (“Invisible Life”) visits his father's country for the first time, looking for traces of his family's recent past. The viewer becomes beguiled with the Algerian history and its hinterland as they are privy to a personal travelogue, listening to the artist's confession to his mother and becoming a participant in an elegy about the end of colonialism. Influenced by Godard's later films and with a unique sense for the digital mediums employed, Aïnouz offers up nothing less than a visual existentialist poem.

    MOMENTS LIKE THIS NEVER LAST

    MOMENTS LIKE THIS NEVER LAST

    He turned his back to a privileged family, wandered through the bad parts of New York, consumed as many drugs and alcohol as a body can take and veered headfirst to his untimely demise. In the meantime, however, Dash Snow went down in history in the graffiti movement, his legendary Polaroids depicted the world of the damned and he created a complete version of art which mirrored the counterculture of the 90s and his generation. The story of this self-destructive big-town prince is told through this wonderful documentary, made up of frantic images and sounds, from impressions and memories, from moments in time that pass like a flash and of a life which is lit and burned at the same time. Like a candle.

    BUILDERS, HOUSEWIVES AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF MODERN ATHENS

    BUILDERS, HOUSEWIVES AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF MODERN ATHENS