Oliver Hardt‘s fascinating and provocative documentary The United States of Hoodoo has been traveling the film festival circuit for the past couple of years, and now is your chance to see it since it has become available on Amazon instant video!
Hoodoo follows writer Darius James in his journey of spiritual enlightenment and development, which began after James return to the U.S from Berlin following his father’s death. James discovers his father’s mask collection and a cardbox filled with ashes that his father left behind in James’ childhood home. James late father, a sculptor and painter, drew from African based spirituality for inspiration. Soon after this discovery, James sets out to explore the urban intellectual milieu of New York City, and follow the traces left from Voodoo myths and legends in Mississippi, New Orleans, Oakland, Seattle and Chicago.
Here’s the synopsis:
Returning from Germany to his childhood home in Connecticut USA, following the death of his father, African-American author Darius James finds himself faced with the remaining traces of his father’s life. Sitting in the family home, surrounded by his father’s collection of African masks, James starts to ponder his own life. In search of answers he hits the road.
The United States of Hoodoo focuses on the author’s road trip as he crosses the continent. Along a route that moves seamlessly from New York to New Orleans and west, from Oakland to Chicago and beyond, James meets musicians, scholars, spiritual leaders, artists and writers, and slowly discovers the deep spiritual roots behind African-American creative practice. Both a personal journey and a cultural voyage, this film paints a multifaceted picture of contemporary African-American art and culture that draws upon everything from the Delta blues of Robert Johnson through to the art of Nick Cave (not the musician), and always against the background the spiritual traditions of Africa and its diaspora.
Here’s the trailer for the film: