“Respect for nature, a comprehensive worldview that has a solution for everything, the answer of the ancestors to the philosophical questions people ask: “Where are we? Who are we? Where do we come from?” That's how one African describes Vodun/Voodoo in the link I've attached above – a philosophy that has been demonized and ridiculed in racist films and books for decades.
Although I've known for many years that the twisted portrayal of voodoo in Hollywood and the media has nothing to do with the truth of the religion and how it is practiced in Africa and the diaspora, I was still touched by what Gabin Djmasse (the researcher) had to say.
Here are my favorite quotes:
* Nature must be respected; you must not violate the laws of nature.
* In our culture, one must never deliberately choose evil. If you choose evil be sure that it will turn against you because you are not respecting the principles of nature.
* In the education, initiation and practice of Vodun, we teach the importance of respecting nature.
* When we say respect for nature, it includes human beings.
* You must not think evil thoughts.
In the book “Flash of the Spirit,” historian Robert Farris Thompson describes Hatian Vodun as “one of the richest and and most misunderstood religions of the planet. A vibrant sophisticated synthesis of the traditional religions of Dahomey, Yorubaland, and Kongo with an infusion of Roman Catholicism.” Thompson's book also pays tribute to the sacred art of Vodun and other African-inspired spiritual traditions.
Although my upcoming film does not take us into Vodun territory, we make reference to this ancient tradition from time to time. We will attempt to set the record straight once and for all. Hollywood and the media will not have the last word – the ancestors will!