Voodoo and the Church In Haiti

A classic film about Voodoo that dispells Hollywood stereotypes.

An excellent introduction to the field, raising significant questions about religion, politics, and the clash between Western and African cultures. It is reasoned and measured and it neither trivializes nor sensationalizes the subject.

—Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, University of Wisconsin

Synopsis:

Western and African cultures collide in Haiti resulting in religious conflict between Christianity and Voodoo. Despite centuries of vigilant opposition from the Christian Church, Voodoo has flourished in Haiti and continues to be one of the strongest elements underlying Haitian culture. This film dispels Hollywood stereotypes and presents Voodoo as a belief system that has been passed down from African ancestor to slave to present day Haitian.

Traveling from the intensely overcrowded streets of Port-au-Prince to the serenity of the Haitian countryside, the viewer comes to see how the Haitian has accepted both the Christian and Voodoo mythology for use in daily life. The highly integrated Haitian culture is truthfully revealed.

This film was accomplished with the full cooperation of the Haitian people who are anxious to have the true story of Voodoo in Haiti unfold. It is essential viewing for promotion of cross-cultural understanding.

Appearing in the film are:
Bishop Gayot, representative of the Catholic church speaks from a Western point of view. “Voodoo is a system born out of a theological deficiency.”

Max Beauvior, a European educated biochemist and well-respected Voodoo priest, responds: “Voodoo is at least 8,000 years old, the theological ideas of Voodoo are African born out of the reflection of our forefathers … Our forefathers succeeded to defeat with the help of (Voodoo) that great army of Napoleon and the first black republic in the new world was formed, a tribute to negritude.”

Herard Simon, Voodoo priest and founder of Zantray, explains how Voodoo incorporated Christian mythology in order to survive centuries of opposition.