DER Documentary

Return to the Land of Souls

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by Jordi Esteva
color, 68 min, 2010

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In the 21st century, many ancestral beliefs are struggling to survive in a hostile, fast-changing world. In southeast Côte d'Ivoire, some Akan communities still make contact with the spirits through Komians or animistic priests who go into a trance and are possessed by the spirits of the Forest and the Waters.

Jean Marie Addiaffi (1941-1999), a writer and intellectual from Ivory Coast, fought to conserve the Akans' oral literature, myths and legends, and the knowledge and uses of the plants.

In Return to the Land of Souls, Yéo Douley, a disciple of Jean Marie Addiaffi, will set out on a journey to visit his master's grave and carry out a ritual libation. On his travel, he will attend the initiation rites of three people chosen by the spirits and witness one of them proclaimed as the new Komian, or high animistic priest.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Africa World Documentary Film Festival, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, 2010
Africa World Documentary Film Festival, Barbados, 2010
Bermuda International Film Festival, 2010
Arizona Black Film Festival, 2010
Best Documentary, Black International Cinema Berlin, 2010
Documenta Madrid 10, 2010
Swansea Bay Film Festival, Wales, 2010
DocMiami International Film Festival, 2010
Parnü Film Festival, Estonia, 2010
Festival du Documentaire de Kribi, Cameroun, 2010
Bangkok Indie Festival Thailand, 2010
The Heart of England International Film Festival, 2010
International Film Festival Ireland, Clonmel, Tipperary, 2010
International Documentary Film Festival, Ohio, USA, 2010
International Film Festival South Africa, 2010

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