African American Roots (2020) Movie Script

She will not die now because she is 85 years old,
I give her another 20 years of life.
Her, she gave me the maternal initiation,
otherwise I can not go back to the Mamiwata convents.
Where's we going to see her?
- At her home in Cotonou.
- Oh yes, and when will we go?
I'll see with her now ...
She's here now?
Yes, she gave me the informations.
But at home, there is not a sort of hierarchy where you can tell there are ten,
twenty very high priests or voodoo priestesses?
They are known, here are the names.
Because they had told me thinks about it in Ouidah, the day of the party,
he had spoken about fifteen, the greatest were gathered there.
It's impossible, it's a politicized thing.
Yes, all right.
It's a politicized thing ... maybe they'll tell you there's the office ...
here is the office, so for them, these are the important people.
This is Ogou's voodoo, he gives happiness.
You do the prayer, you make a promise, it is realized.
You want to get married, it's a problem,
you're looking for a job, you come to pray and it's OK.
- White man ?!
- Get out kids!
It should be put here ... No? Not touch?
Come and see how beautiful your voodoo is... there you go.
Nice work.
You tried! Good job. Good job.
Yes, that's fine like that.
Sakpata, he represents the earth, Sakpata, voodoo Sakpata.
There is lot of depth of field, we will have a lot of sharpness everywhere.
We see better than what we see with the eye!
All that he did about the kings of Burkina.
Today the kings of Burkina benefit from it,
it's not him who benefits, it's not me who benefits.
Everyone knows the kings of Burkina and people take
planes to thousands of francs to visit them.
None of our children know who Vaudounon is, what the voodoo does,
What is voodoo? Nobody knows.
You have to see the inside too, the voodoo of
the person goes with the portrait of you.
Please look precisely here.
They must be accompanied!
We have many voodoo in this house.
There are ghosts and the voodoo called Sakpata.
It is the lady there, the god of the earth, she represents it.
Yes, she represents the god of the earth.
I represent what is called Tohossou.
Tohossou and Dan, it's in the other convent there and also
the ghosts, those of our family, that's it.
Must we remove?
Go! Everyone, you have to remove, go!
Voodoo is not Satan, it does good, it does good at home,
if you are near voodoo you should not do bad things, otherwise voodoo kills you.
Be careful, do not get confused between Satan and fetish, no.
We say we make traditional plants.
Traditional plants do not mean voodoo, neither quack, be careful,
because one can be a herbalist without knowing voodoo, one must not mix.
Here is where we call them, our grandparents who left, our grandfather,
big brother, the whole family, it's their fetish here.
Tohossou here, is my sister, my dead brothers
who have become fetish and we have to put it there huh.
That's what is there.
They are told to do good and they do it.
The Voodoo are not at all fixed, either in a public place,
in the temple, not at all, all these are acquisitions.
Before the voodoo was in the forest, in the bush, and we had to bring it
in a house, it's a step that brought him to a house,
so much so that every voodoo today has a house and at the same time a pen,
a convent precisely, to train, for the initiation thus of the Vaudousis.
It is the trance that manifests that the person is possessed by voodoo,
now it's a trance that's also controlled.
That is to say that there are phases that precisely the Vaudounon, surrounded by
his drummers and others, can come to terms.
So the definition of voodoo is of course a natural element
but who is not in wandering, who is already controlled.
This means that there are also secrets to control, because
if the guy is in trance, we can not ... control ... that's wrong.
So it was wanted that there is a secret and the secret is protective.
The problem that voodoo poses today is precisely the idea that spirits
can directly intervene in people's lives.
So a lot of research claims that sooner or later these cults will wither away
compared to the shock of ideas, compared to the modern world.
but the resistance, the liveliness of this cult is very very surprising compared
to the evolutionist-type predictions that make them disappear.
So we have to take into account their presence on the stage.
Voodoo you know its main food is sacrificial blood.
And this sacrificial blood in people's mind is all the stronger,
all the more efficient if it is first about poultry,
after the fowl we come to the goat, all that is ram,
all that is goat and all that,
and then there are also some great deities here in Ouidah,
who only receive cattle, an ox, so it's already considerable.
All the more so, for the people here, the summit,
in fact, spilled blood is human blood.
And even in voodoo as it is now there is a pact of blood
which also binds Vaudousis to voodoo.
Whose traces can be seen in the form of scarifications,
so this blood, is it not, is obviously the strongest of bloods.
There is sorcery as it can be perceived from the outside
and sorcery as it can be seen from within.
From inside I know many people who are reputation therapists,
we can take them seriously because they are both academic,
they continue their search, which tells me that via sorcery there is
also the possibility, for example, to transform a sick heart,
to give them a new heart, through substitution processes. It can be funny, but
those of whom I speak and whom I observe as a scientist obtain results.
I do not see why I would advise against them by saying beforehand that it's
totally bluffing.
Voodoo today represents not so much a cult of worship as anything indirectly
available for therapy, for healing people.
Many people depend on virtue
leaves and depend on the secrets of their mixture and others,
given the coverage rate, the care that one can receive in a hospital.
Yes, that's right, I often come to this house for my child.
It was not to me that the child was entrusted,
this child was entrusted to you.
Papa Kounde, do what you have to do for him.
Toi, tiens bien le coq!
Chacun est destin quelque chose.
That's why from time to time I come to offer you water,
made the effort to give us the coolness.
Here are my hands, here are my hands!
He says happiness.
Will he have longevity and stay with his children for a long time?
Here are my hands, great people.
He said luck.
- Yes it's your chance.
A male a chicken, a male a chicken.
Do not overthrow my cult items there!
- Put your foot on the chicken wing.
What, I have never sacrificed chicken here?
Put enough, when we eat, we have to notice it.
Should not we give him a little oil at the same time?
I will tell him.
Chief, how are you?
By the way, I've been thinking about something.
- We do Abomey and the other localities and we come back to Cotonou.
- Ok.
Then we go back up there... because we have to
take advantage of this opportunity.
It allows us on our return to see the one who was gone at the funeral.
- That's the point.
- That way we combine the two.
From there we go all the way back up.
It makes me think of Tibet as two drops of water. Hello!
They do not want to take away voodoo, we are us behind them.
In fact, it's a fair job on the infrared.
I thought it was a set, you'll see my first pictures,
it was a set and in the picture that's like that,
the fetish does that, because I took the whole thing together,
and it was only after, slowly I began to see that there was this fetish.
We do not see it right away, but that's the essential of course.
I'm sure here that no whites ever go that, that's for sure.
That, nobody has seen before.
I tell you a weird story after in the car.
- No here!
You know there is a family member who came to steal this voodoo there.
That one?
- Yes.
He came back and when he wanted to take voodoo,
he stayed like that, voodoo caught him like that.
he stayed seven nights and seven days in the room there, without drinking
without eating.
When the voodoo came to do the prayer, he saw it, and there he spoke.
He came for seven days to fly but could not move,
but he's dead guy, huh.
It's Sakpata, it's him who controls the earth.
No flash to start.
That's the assins where all the followers of Sakpata voodoo
who stayed at the convent here, who came out after.
That's it ... it's the buffo's head, yes, that's it,
and that's it too, it's very dangerous, it's in the bush, that too.
Pig of the bush that's it ... did you see?
There is thunder, thunder that kills people, have you seen? Thunder.
Is it good for you?
- Yes.
In the convents, there is knowledge to which we do not have access.
You have to be initiated from this convent to access this, and that's why
in my work I try to show what is not known,
and I show the similarities with mostly ancient Egypt and Greece.
Let's talk for example about the goddess Isis if you want,
Isis is named in ancient Egyptian Ase.
When in Fon also Ase is the goddess of magic,
whereas Isis is the goddess of ancient Egyptian magic.
When you take the child, for example, from Isis, Horus, or Ho, or Her,
we find all this in Fon, because the word Fon Ho also means hawk,
whereas Horus, Ho, Her mean hawk in ancient egyptian greek if you want?
Do you see what I mean?
So we find all these gods among the Egyptians,
therefore it becomes easier to understand
the deities we are dealing with in the voodoo pantheon.
You really need to do a comparative study with the Greek or Egyptian pantheon
to be able to properly apprehend the voodoo pantheon.
The word Fon S is nothing but the Egyptian word Re,
that is to say that there is a slight deformation,
that is, there is a transposition of the sound L to the sound S,
but in fact when one says R in Egyptian, it is also said L in Egyptian
because the letter R has the same spelling as the L symbol in Egyptian.
Therefore, any word Fon start with R is said L, so that
if we say in Fon R, we say Les, which gave birth to the god Legba.
If you take other words, for example the Greek word Gigan,
Gigan means giant giant greek, in Fon Gigan also means giant giant.
The Egyptian priests had to flee Egypt,
and the different castes, the different pantheons, that is to say the different
followers of the different gods began by migrating all over the world.
So there are waves that have gone to Asia,
a wave certainly certainly came to West Africa.
So it must be at this time of Tuthmosis III, or the period of Cambyse.
The peoples of southern Benin, southern Togo, Ivory Coast and Nigeria
are certainly migrations from ancient Egypt.
It was at the time of Thutmosis III that Montura was elevated
to the rank of supreme god.
From there we go down, we see that there is
a creator couple who has just been born,
Lisa Maou, and among the Egyptians it's Chou and Tefnut.
We have a principle that can be understood in many ways.
Each way of apprehending this principle constitutes a voodoo deity.
Here the idea of god is divisible into several aspects,
and every aspect is a god, a deity.
So voodoo is a monotheism.
Just take the voodoo cosmogony or voodoo trinity,
we just saw there is S Lisa Mawu,
you take the Egyptian cosmogony of which we dont discuss any more today its
monotheism, there is always Re and also the creative couple Chou and Maat.
Do you see?
So this trinity already can tell us that voodoo is also
a monotheistic religion to the extent that later on
the religions that we call today monotheists or revealed religions
have taken over this ancient Egyptian trinity
and the ancient Egyptian trinity is later worshiped as Osiris Isis and Horus
and we meet all these names also in the language Fon.
The god Osiris, it is the god Alli in language Fon because the word O,
all word beginning with the letter O is pronounced A in Fon
Our superb leader!
That's great because we will have simple people like everything
and then we will have in king's clothes,
then it's good to show these different aspects.
It's the god of justice, if you do something bad we come to see it,
he takes you, he kills you at the same time.
When there is an accident you must know that it is him.
For example outside there, where the fabrics are, the exposure of the fabrics,
people are dead, clothes are on display there.
This is the only fetish that exists like this, Ogou,
even President Kirikou knows that, everyone.
Such a fetish is called Ogou.
It will not be in the book, that's it,
because that's the voodoo that everyone sees,
it's not going to go compared to others who show the most secret voodoo,
it's a shame because it's very good, but I'm sorry, it's not right.
I wish you a safe journey.
Thank you very much see you soon.
It's not that I refuse at the moment but I'm going to see
how things will evolve first.
I told him, if you have to put beside you the voodoo that everyone sees,
it's not worth while you're in the thing.
It's a voodoo that nobody sees that can attract people to see you after you ...
but he does not want to understand. He thinks it's a big money story.
But we give no money.
If at the start he knew we couldn't come inside,
he shouldn't tell us about it.
Yes, indeed.
If he knew the camera would not go there, he should not even tell us about it.
Sorry, chief.
- It's a woman.
- Cool.
But unfortunately she lives in Cotonou, she comes from time to time
for the ceremonies, and there is no one to give me her coordinates.
- In Cotonou?
- Yes, there is no one here.
And you do not think the old woman will know, or the son?
- Do you have his name?
- Yes.
It seems that her children live in Cotonou,
they are intellectuals, she sometimes goes there.
Hey, the old woman will have a shock when you will announce her
that this one is dead and that one is dead ...
This old woman did not come to Abomey anymore.
- It also means, it's interesting, that they communicate little with each other.
- Yes.
- Is he at home?
- Yes its there.
- He brings us back to the village.
- Oh yes!
This is really the treasure hunt.
Okay, he's a youngster, but there is someone else here that we will go to see.
We should really try to have women.
Next time you have to plan two days in Abomey.
I show you what he has already done before.
This is his voodoo.
We want to photograph the voodoo, not the ones
exposed to large areas visiblent by all but hidden voodoo.
This is his voodoo.
Are you his grandson?
I am his grandson.
I tell you the truth.
Her, when we went to the president, she was our spokesperson.
This is his voodoo.
What, is voodoo in the bush? Where are you taking us?
No, we're going to this side first.
Only one of them is photographed.
In this case you will photograph the one inside.
I'm going to get dressed.
Children can not enter.
Voodoo Agbangba.
Turn around the children.
It's possible to make a book just about what it has here.
But I can not take everything,
I'll take one there too with in the foreground, the gorilla head species.
Is that good?
Yes, it's good voodoo.
- I'm going to use that.
- Yes, that's the main one.
He will pray for us, he said.
Ah, that's fine.
That, I've never seen, huh.
Yes, but that's the one to do, it's not the other.
- Cant we shoot it?
- No.
This is never allowed.
That's a bad then, is that a bad guy?
That you photograph it, you will have all the problems in the world.
That's a fetish then, it's not a voodoo?
Ah no, it's a voodoo, a witchcraft voodoo.
When the wizard attacks, someone, he sends you, he can disenfranchise you
... he absorbs, but he can not be filmed.
- Voodoo Zon.
- Voodoo Zon.
- It stays in the bush.
- Ah, that's the geniuses of the forest then.
We will not be able to stop at the end, we will still work on Sunday 5 P.M.
You have to slow down for people.
They are afraid, they wonder why whites came to take the chief,
what's going on?
Remove the leader.
- Remove the leader, what is it, there is a problem?
So you see Sakpata voodoo in Boikon, Abhomey, everywhere, it's gone from here.
No slaves left from Ouidah,
the slaves left from here, from the north and from here.
So on leaving, they leave their voodoo in Ouidah.
If it's possible, we do it, if it's not possible ...
We will go see them first.
I had already warned them, when we were there I sent a commission.
Is not it better to let yourself go alone and then come? Like you want.
- No, come on.
This is his voodoo.
This is his voodoo.
Lantefo Priestess.h
They came from their country to make money.
Without giving you anything.
They do not know anything.
- You have seen now.
- Oh yes.
- Are the two ladies here?
- No, there is one here and one over there.
In the village, Jean-Dominique suddenly feels the urge to speak
about his Mtis son and his wife of African descent.
- I have a picture of the mother but with ....
- Pregnancy.
These are her real hair.
If you see her here, without knowing she's from Canada,
what do you think? Where does she come from, like that?
If she comes from Africa, where does her face come from?
- What is she, Yoruba?
- Fon.
- Somehow, I'm going back in the opposite direction.
- Yes.
She was born in Canada, her parents came to Canada
but they came from the Caribbean.
And I am the first to make the road back to Africa,
but they never came to Africa,
so I tell her his origins, and the other time when I was in Ouidah,
I phoned, I made him listen to the sea, your ancestors they left from there.
That's right, they certainly left here.
- Yes, probably from here.
If you hear slaves, it's north, it's the center.
Yes, there is the same thing in Senegal, those who say
that the stopovers are from the island of Gore, it seems that it is false.
That's wrong, that's wrong because it's the port of embarkation
that people consider, people did not leave there.
No slaves are from Ouidah, no slaves are from Abhomey.
Your ancestors you're talking about, have definitely left here.
- Incredible.
- Oh yes, that's it.
They started, the coastal kingdoms started the trade
because of contact with the ocean, the arrival of shipowners and slavers.
And they started trading with the Europeans,
so the famous triangular trade and there were rules too.
For example, arriving Europeans had the opportunity to create their forts,
mansions to protect goods and others,
but they should not interfere in internal political affairs,
so far kings still had sufficient control of power,
and also trade according to a certain satisfactory legality.
Now, as the famous inner kingdom of Abomey evolves
started to hunt humans systematically
there are terrible odds in this frantic quest,
raids, men to sell and so on.
There was some protection for the Vaudounons,
it was still the interlocutors that,
after the kings there are a number of great Vaudounons.
- We never saw them put in ... no no no.
- The big vudounons have never been sent?
Oh no, they were never sent.
So people have reconstructed voodoo from their own memories
and now, as there were regular contacts between Ouidah and Baia,
they ordered the instruments and the voodoo lives again in another form,
more or less altered but still pretty much
faithful to the scheme they were able to replenish there.
To get by we are today for a religious pluralism,
it's going to be hard to trigger any crusade war,
or even more so of Jihad here, on the contrary, one seeks to
organize peaceful coexistence between the religious denominations that exist.
We must not only see the good side,
tolerance also implies a hidden war anyway.
I told her about the problem this morning between the priestess and her brother
and that we don't want to follow their problems with.
All the Vaudounons that will be in this catalog
will be on an equal footing,
There is no bigger, there is no smaller, except her, except ...
I told him that after this exhibition, the Vaudounons will
benefit from it because people will come, many people will come.
I will do everything to immortalize her,
at least so that she leaves a trace before leaving.