Leah Gordon, Ranu Mukherjee, Maggie Roberts

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Director Film Leah Gordon, Ranu Mukherjee, Maggie Roberts
Linements of the Lwa

Linements of the Lwa, 2002
Leah Gordon, Ranu Mukherjee, Maggie Roberts
doc. [R]

Describing the characteristics and functions of the divinities.

Lineaments of the Lwa is a film essay on Vodou and its emergent spirits (lwa). It is a broad sketch of modern Haiti that reveals the roots of the spirits in all areas of life. The film portrays the spirits as manifest in Haitian arts and ritual, as well as in the elemental forces, the streets, markets and countryside.

The half-hour film shows that Vodou is not merely a vestigal primitive belief system nor a bizarre legacy of the slave trade, but a living and pertinent, contemporary religious practice which forms an essential part of cultural life in Haiti.

After a brief introduction to the history of Haitian Vodou, viewers are immersed in a journey through a sequence of montages, each portraying the essence of one of the primary deities. The montages combine footage from Vodou ritual and daily life, images of Haitian art, ambient sounds and the essential drumming and singing which accompany ritual. A voice-over describes the primary characteristics and functions of each spirit.

The film shows how the spirits reflect life and experience for Haitian people now as they did a hundred years previous and how Haitian art functions to keeps the spirits alive in the minds and hearts of the Haitian people. It assists in contextualizing the art of Haiti and the essence of the Vodou faith for those who have not been witness to it. It underscores the transformation of the everyday into the divine and the divine into the everyday which is the very basis of Vodou consciousness.


Info at:
Haiti Support Group,
PO Box 29623,
London E9 7XU.
haitisupport@gn.apc.org