Oliver Hardt’s fascinating documentary The United States of Hoodoo will have a rare Chicago screening next month, on Weds March 7, starting at 7PM at the Chatham 14 Theatres, located on the South side of Chicago.
The screening is part of the Black World Cinema screenings series created by Floyd Webb to showcase rare, important and seldom seen new and classic black cinema from around the world.
The film, which is seen from the point of view of writer Darius James, and his journey of spiritual devlopment and growth, begins when James returns to the U.S. from Berlin after his father’s death. Going though his childhood home he discovers his father’s mask collection and cardboard box filled with ashes. These were left by his father, who was a painter and sculptor, whose work drew deeply on manifestations of African based spirituality.
Darius, inspired, starts his journey in the urban intellectual milieu of New York City, then following the traces of popular Voodoo myths and legends to Mississippi and New Orleans before moving on to Oakland, Seattle and Chicago.
He immerses “himself in the fabric of urban creativity where he encounters artists, musicians, writers, spiritual leaders and scholars. He finds out that the African gods have taken on new forms since their arrival on North America’s shores. Their spirit now manifests itself in turn-table wizardry, improvisational skills and mind-blowing collages, performances, and rituals.”
Here’s the trailer for the film: