MISTERIOS - A film by Giovanni Savino
55 minutes with English subtitles, DVD-R NTSC
Produced by Magnetic Art Productions.
Watch the entire movie HERE
MISTERIOS is a journey in the complex and mysterious world of VUDU worshipping and spiritual possessions. Guided by the very voice of the 'Servidores de Misterio', we open a door into their faith, their ancient rituals and their supernatural experiences. The 'Servidores de Misterios', 'Los Caballos' (the horses) are the priests, the intermediaries between the spirits of the Loas and ordinary people. The spirits descend into their bodies sometimes after being invoked, especially during the intense drumming of a Fiesta de Palos. They are the 'Horses' who temporarily carry the spirit in their own body while in a state of trance. They are the people I followed and asked questions to, who permitted me to film the ceremonies and places of worship portrayed in this video.
Review by Paul Austerlitz
(Department of Africana Studies - Brown University)
"Giovanni Savino's film, Misterios, is a groundbreaking addition to research on Afro-Caribbean culture. Its focus on Dominican Vodú alone makes this documentary important, for while much significant research has been done on Haitian Vodun and cognate religions such as Cuban Santería and Brazilian Candomble, the rich traditions of African-derived worship that abound in the Dominican Republic have received little attention from international researchers. But this film goes farther: Savino succeeded in gaining the trust of many intelligent and articulate practitioners of Vodú who relate intimate details about their faith in filmed interviews which shed important light on under-studied phenomena such as spirit possession. For all its importance as a scholarly work, Misterios is accessible to non-academic viewers: it presents its material in a clear and straight-forward manner. In fact, it is a stunning treat for the eyes and ears, presenting impeccably shot footage of ritual events replete with colorful altars, spectacular dance, and compelling music. I cannot recommend this film more highly."