Voodoo: Mounted by the Gods
A glimpse into the world of Voodoo, this companion to a documentary by Wim Wenders presents photographs and film stills by celebrated photojournalist, Alberto Venzago.
In 1988, Albert Venzago set out to cross Africa on a Vespa. After miles in the blistering heat, it broke down in a remote village in Benin. There he encountered Mahounon, one of the most influential voodoo priests of West Africa. Abandoning his planned trip, Venzago set out instead on an odyssey through the world of African voodoo, to which he and his camera gained extraordinary access.
Venzago followed Mahounon with his camera for nearly ten years, filming secret Voodoo ceremonies and sacrificial rituals. He witnessed Mahounon’s extraordinary search for a successor to lead the cult, and he watched as the anointed eleven-year old boy, Gounon, was schooled in black and white magic, rituals, and the intricate workings of the Fa, or Voodoo oracle.
Venzago’s camera evokes the religious ecstasy of these ceremonies as well as their otherworldly atmosphere. His photographs illuminate this mysterious and potent Voodoo culture and religion.
Released 9 Oct, 2003. 90 min. Director: Alberto Venzago. Documentary film.
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A fascinating film…a mesmerizing soundtrack. Beautifully done!
It brought to mind a poem I wrote in 12/24/09 called; “Vodou Dancer”.
I dedicated it to “Haiti”. A place I’ve never been to, but have always wanted to visit.
The first two stanzas go like this:
to the beat of a drum
Dance of the storm
the sea and the night.
One dance with her
is a gift to the light
And who will ride
this daughter’s wave tonight?
Fascinating! One of my favorite documentaries. Beautifully done.
Yes! But no subtitles for any of the local languages, including french. Is that really right or just in his copy?