VOODOO, MOUNTED BY THE GODS
Benin, Germany, Switzerland, 2003, 90 min, Color, 35 MM
DIR/DP: Alberto Venzago
Mahounon’s father was a Voodoo High Priest in Benin who lived nearly a century, before passing his unwritten knowledge of sacrifice and stones to his son. Although Mahounon is still decades younger, his connection to the Other World advises him he must swiftly find his own successor as his own lifespan is limited.
After the oracles tell the Voodoo specialist–one of the last true practitioners of native magic–that his own sons aren’t up to the task, Mahounon opens his doors to children from all over West Africa, but they too are rejected by the spirits. Instead, the oracles select 12-year-old Gounon, a village boy who is wrested from his family to be surrounded by blood and strangers as demanded by his total submission to the dark arts.
Alberto Venzago’s 10-year documentary is striking in its intimacy and access to Mahounon’s physical decline and Gounon’s powerful ascent. It’s a unique study of an education both compelling and chilling.
Thu Nov 11 10:00pm
ArcLight Theatre 13
Fri Nov 12 9:30pm
ArcLight Theatre 11