<img src=images/voodoo.jpg"


Benin, Germany, Switzerland, 2003, 90 min, Color, 35 MM
World Premiere
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

Categories: Uncategorized

About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2022: I publish a weeklyish email newsletter called LANDLINE = Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca., where I practiced with Buddhist teacher Ruth Denison and was involved in various pro-ecology and social justice activist activities.