A look at one of the most private and controversial sects ever tied to Catholicism during their oldest and most public festival.
*photograph by Luciana Batista/2008
WOW! The minimum amount has been reached for funding which ensures I'll get the donations- but please continue to donate! Let's see where this thing goes! The more I receive the more I can give back! There is no limit to the amount I can raise (I just had to be sure to raise at least $2500)!!
A GIGANTIC "THANK YOU" to everyone who has donated so far, this campaign would not have been a success without your generosity! Also, a big thanks to those who forwarded the link and helped spread the word about this project- this victory is just as much yours!
I wanted to include a new little video to the project story that tells you a little about the towns I'll be filming next month. This footage was b-roll that I shot in February when I was getting all of the logistics of this August shoot in line. You can get a feel of the pace of the towns and you'll also get to hear from one of the characters, Mae Zelita, who will also be interviewed for the film.
*(Though I'm narrating this short piece as well- I have no intention of doing so in the film!)
THE GOOD DEATH is going to follow two very different members of The Sisterhood of the Good Death during their August festival, while unraveling some of the mysticism behind the group and its history. Edite and Mae Zelita come from the two neighboring towns of Cachoeria and Sao Felix and they are both long time members of The Sisterhood. However, their stories outside of The Sisterhood and their roles within it are completely different. Through their stories I plan to show a deeper side of The Sisterhood that few have had the chance to discover.
WHY I AM MAKING THIS FILM:
I learned about the Sisterhood last year on a trip to Bahia and was amazed at how difficult it was to find information about the group in English and how little was known about them outside of the academic setting. I believe access to this incredible part of history from the African Diaspora is crucial to all histories. Brazil, in all of its ethnic glory, was the last country in the world to abolish slavery in 1888 confirming that most of The Sisters parents were of the last slaves on Earth.
This film will not be for theatrical distribution. I am making this film for public television distribution, so the everyday citizen that is curious about the world can learn about this small group of powerful women that have changed the course of how religion is viewed, admired and re-written. I would like conscience travelers to better understand what they are seeing and the importance of the region they are in when they explore the Northern state of Bahia. I would like musicians to be able to grasp the power of a different type of music and have a clear picture of where it stems from. This project is all about providing access and an opportunity for those interested in learning more about something off the beaten path but aren't able to go off the beaten path themselves.
ABOUT THE GOOD DEATH FESTIVAL:
Every year thousands descend on the tiny town of Cachoeria in Northern Brazil to be a part of the Boa Morte ("Good Death") festival during the Assumption of Mary in the month of August. The festival consists of a number of processions through the cramped streets of Cachoeira from small church to small church during the Catholic celebration. For three days The Sisters have ceremonial processions and services honoring the death and rising of the Virgin Mary into heaven. The final days of the festival go from a macabre ceremonial funeral to a festive celebration with food, drink and dancing of the traditional Samba da Roda. Each phase of the festival is symbolic and visually awesome and will not only be filmed but photographed as well.
The Sisterhood is most known for their secrecy and this feeds into numerous conspiracy theories about what happens behind closed doors outside of the public festival and just how connected the Sisters are to Candomble, an Afro-Brazilian religion that was banned for over 400 years.
HOW WILL I MAKE THIS HAPPEN?
Over the past year, I have fostered relationships with Brazilian museums to access their collections for the film. I have also reached out to Religious Studies professors both stateside and in Bahia for interviews as well as spoken a number of times with The Sisters about the story they want to tell and of course what is off limits. I will be in Cachoeria Brazil from July 30th- August 28th documenting the city, its people and The Sisterhood. I will show how these women go from everyday residents to religious icons, with whom people want to walk next to, pray with and photograph.
WHERE IS YOUR CONTRIBUTION GOING?
Your contribution is funding the production phase of this film. With the ticket purchased and housing all set you're helping with the smaller crucial bits:
- 2 portable storage devices.
- Multi-directional microphone.
- Phone/meal expenses during the four weeks in Cachoeira.
- International production and health insurance.
- Transportation in and around Cachoeria with my gear.
- Stipend for production assistants I will hire in Cachoeria.
- Donation to the Sisterhood for allowing me to tell their story.
This film is super independent so every single dollar counts! No amount is too small!
The trick is that Kickstarter is all or nothing funding- so if I don't raise $2500 by the end date- I WILL NOT GET FUNDED! So please help me reach (and even surpass) my goal. Forward this link to your friends, "Like" this page on Facebook, Tweet about it, dream about it, BE about it!
Feel free to write if you have any questions and thanks for checking out my page!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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My deepest thanks and appreciation for your support! I'll thank you on Twitter and on the Facebook page for the film!Estimated delivery:
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My deepest thanks and a personalized Thank You message with a Lembrança do Senhor do Bonfim (Brazilian wish bracelet) so you can keep the good vibes coming!Estimated delivery:
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Not only my deepest thanks but also a handwritten Thank You note included with your Brazilian wish bracelet PLUS a special Thank You on the Facebook/Twitter feeds for the film AND the digital download of the completed film!Estimated delivery:
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For your generous contribution you will get everything at the $25 level and an 8x10 print of your choosing taken during the festival!Estimated delivery:
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For this gracious level you will get a special Thank You with your name in the credits of the film PLUS everything at the $50 level, as well as a terra cotta ceramic OR a hand rolled cigar (both the main source of income for the residents of the Reconcavo region of Brazil) AND a hardcopy of the DVD!Estimated delivery:
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Your incredible support at this level not only comes with a special Thank You next to your name in the credits of the film and an invitation to a private screening of the rough cut (for those in the NYC area) with a preceding reception; a copy of the behind the scenes making of the film, as well as everything at the $100 level! (Screening held Summer 2013)Estimated delivery:
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I'm humbled by your generosity- and in addition to your name in the credits and everything included at the $250 you will receive a personalized video thank you message from the director and one of the Sisters! Because YOU RULE!Estimated delivery:
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You are so with me on this project that your name should be next to mine! At this level, you will receive co-producer credit, a copy of the movie poster, everything offered at every level and I will forever refer to you as "My Hero".Estimated delivery:
- (32 days)