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Legacy of the Spirits
For centuries, the religion of Vodou (commonly called "voodoo" by outsiders) has been thought of as sticking pins in dolls or witchcraft. It has been kept underground and practiced in secret, giving way to much misunderstanding and sensationalism. This documentary - the first of its kind - shows how Vodou…
American Mystic - Alternative Religions
Set against the rich, color-soaked backdrop of America's rural landscapes, Alex Mar's lyrical first work is a bold and artful documentary that braids together the stories of three young Americans who have chosen to sacrifice comforts in order to embrace the fringes of alternative religion. The subjects include Chuck, a…
The Feast in Dream Village
The eastern Indonesian island of Sumba is the last island in the Malay archipelago where the majority of the people still follow their ancestral religion, called marapu. This film, shot in 1986, focuses on a challenge to the authority of the spirits and ancestors in a village ritual to restore…
Gods and Kings - Mass Media and Tradition in Guatemala
In the muddy market square of Momostenango, Guatemala, where shamans burn offerings in the shadow of the Catholic church, prehispanic gods dance beside horror movie monsters and dictators from the dark days of the Cold War. Unlike the folkloric performances long studied by anthropologists, this new dance won't show up…
Jathilan: Trance and Possession in Java
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Smoke from His Fire - The Kwakwaka’wakw of the Pacific Northwest Coast
A bittersweet story of how a people survived. Seventy-five years ago the nobility of the Kwakwaka'wakw of the Pacific Northwest Coast, chose a young man, secluded him from the authorities when his peers were sent to Residential School. The elders trained him in every aspect of the culture and traditions…
Magical Death
Part of the Series: Yanomamo Collection
The shaman plays a vital role in Yanomamo society, for it is he who calls, commands, and often is possessed by spirits, or hekura. "Like myriad glowing butterflies dancing in the sky," the hekura come down invisible trails from the mountain tops when they are summoned. A powerful shaman such…
Serpent Mother
Serpent Mother is about devotion to the Goddess of Snakes and the importance of divine female power in West Bengal Indian life. The film's focus is the Jhapan Festival, the great celebration of snakes. Shown are festival preparations, the role of traditional arts and crafts in the worship of the…
Native Planet Program 3: Canada - Living with the Tar Sands
Part of the Series: Native Planet
From his home in the Squamish Nation, Canada host Simon Baker traces the path of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, from the Oil Sands in Alberta to the tanker terminal planned for Kitimat, B.C. to understand why First Nations are opposed.
Circles - Restorative Justice at Work
A film about justice and community healing, hope and transformation. In the Yukon, an innovative program is bringing together a traditional form of Aboriginal justice--circle sentencing--and the Canadian justice system. Sentencing circles don't focus on punishment. Instead, they bring together the perpetrator of a crime, his or her victims, and…
For our Street Family
Revolving around a teen drop-in center called Planet Youth, the film explores the pain of stereotypes, the importance of peer support, and the ambivalence towards identity experience by a group of First Nations teens in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Begun as a participatory photography group self-portrait, the film expands to…
Island Roots - A Filipino-American Story
When the Filipino pioneers of the 1920's and 30's settled on Bainbridge Island, Washington they were hired by Japanese-American landowners to tend their renowned strawberry farms. The bombing of Pearl Harbor turned this relationship upside down when the Japanese Americans were forcibly removed from the Island and incarcerated during WWII.…