FAYA DAYI (2021) with filmmaker Jessica Beshir: Block Museum - Northwestern University
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FAYA DAYI (2021) with filmmaker Jessica Beshir

Black and white image of two men up close glancing away from each other
Image credit: FAYA DAYI
7 PM

Event Details

Date & Time:

Fri February 9, 2024
7 PM


The Block Museum of Art
40 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208


Open to the public


FAYA DAYI (2021)

with filmmaker Jessica Beshir

(Jessica Beshir, 2021, DCP, 118 min, in Amharic, Oromo and Harari with English subtitles)




Documentary filmmaker Jessica Beshir’s debut feature offers a rapturous yet clear-eyed evocation of life in the grip of the Ethiopian drug economy. With empathy and acute insight, Faya Dayi follows the lives of workers and their families in her home region of Harar, where farming and production of the narcotic plant Khat dominates local industry. Whether filming scenes of labor or languor, Beshir’s deep reverence for her subjects imbues her sumptuous black-and-white images, which gradually coalesce into a collective mosaic of dreams, generational tensions, and bitter realities. 

Following the film, Jessica Beshir will appear in person to discuss the film’s origins and unique poetics.

About the artist:

JESSICA BESHIR (DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/CINEMATOGRAPHER) Mexican-Ethiopian filmmaker, Jessica Beshir received her B.A in film studies and literature at UCLA. She recently directed the short He Who Dances on Wood and is currently producing her first feature film set in Harar. Jessica is based in Brooklyn, NY. 

Jessica Beshir is a 2024 Hoffman Visiting Artist for Documentary Media, a short-term filmmaker residency at Northwestern’s School of Communications funded by a generous gift from Jane Steiner Hoffman and Michael Hoffman.

FAYA DAYI - Trailer from Janus Films on Vimeo.

FAYA DAYI is part of Block Cinema's Winter 2024 series, "Looking Carefully: New Observational Documentary," which brings together contemporary works of nonfiction cinema that depict, and enact, forms of care.

Contact The Block Museum of Art for more information: (847) 491-4000 or email us at block-museum@northwestern.edu