This documentary is about capturing a rare and disappearing Haitian Vodou ceremony experienced through the perspective of Suzan, a powerful and vital, but aging shaman leader. The ceremony takes place in a cave that Suzan had lived in for 10 years in Fonds-des-Nègres, Haiti, 114 km west of Port-au-Prince.
Although a well known pilgrimage site, there is virtually nothing written about the cave nor any published description of its ceremonials. It has several rooms, each devoted to a different loa (spirit) circled around a central room, called the Poto Mitan, also called the chapel in honor of St. Gregoire. The primary festival (fête champêtre) of the year at this site is on November 18.
Haiti is a country with a history of suffering that has found liberty
in expressing their spirituality through performance worship.
Haitian Vodou has always been an important focal point through Haitian
history as it has given exploited people a sense of
communal identity, and was particularly important for community strength and inspiration when fighting for their independence from France. By working with Suzan and a local cultural anthropologist, this documentary intends to tell the story of this ceremony in the given context.
Ultimately, this is a sociocultural art film that will consist of real and raw footage of a Haitian Vodou ceremony and it's history. Our approach to filming it will be in consideration of using the light generated from the ceremony fires and in recording the elements of human voice, instruments and natural sounds in the cavernous space. It will cut together stylistically like a performance piece.
We are sending a 7 person crew of varying ethnic and national backgrounds to film the documentary this November and we need $38,000 to fulfill our budget requirements, which include paying our team, travel, camp supplies, food, security and film equipment.
Directed by Adrienne Subia, shot by Jason Joseffer and produced by Joe Stillwater.
Thanks for your time!