Search - Divine Horsemen:The Living Gods of Haiti: A Film by Maya Deren on DVD

Divine Horsemen:The Living Gods of Haiti: A Film by Maya Deren
Divine HorsemenThe Living Gods of Haiti A Film by Maya Deren
Actor: Various
Director: Maya Deren
Genres: Documentary
UR     2007     1hr 0min



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Movie Details

Actor: Various
Director: Maya Deren
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: Microcinema
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 06/26/2007
Original Release Date: 06/26/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 06/26/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 7
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A film assembled from 20.000 feet shot by Maya Deren
Moira J. Sullivan | San Francisco and Stockholm | 08/22/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Divine Horsemen" is the name of Maya Deren's monograph published in 1953, an account of the cosmology of Voudoun. The title was used by Teiji ( Maya's husband at the time of her death) and Cherel Ito in their assembled film made from Deren's footage ( Deren by the way was born in Kiev in 1917 but lived in the USA from 1922 to her death in 1961). One of her largest frustrations was her inability to edit 20.000 feet of footage she shot in 1947, and 1949, 1954. This was primarily due to lack of funding and support from orthodox anthropologists where she was considered an encroacher on their revered territory. In a sense the Ito's did editorial work for her after her death but it is important to recognize that this is not Deren's. One does get a sense of her work with this video and what she tried to accomplish. The voice overs and animation are all the work of the Ito's-- Deren's own film was to use the sound she recorded in the field in Haiti and which she released as an album "The Voices of Haiti". The original footage is to be found at Anthology Film Archives in New York. This film shows the brilliance of Deren's use of choreocinema in filming where she tried to respect the ceremonial logic of this beautiful religion."
Voodoo cerermonies documented by European Initiate
Moira J. Sullivan | 05/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This documentary was produced in the 1950s by Maya Deren, experimental film maker, anthropologist and voodoo initiate. The film consists of a display of sigils for a particular loa and footage of voodoo initiates in rites appropriate to that loa. Many of the worshippers appear to be possessed and the effect is very moving. Maya Deren, though herself European, was an initiate of Voodoo allowing her unprecedented access to this still poorly understood religion. To my knowledge, no other film presents actual Voodoo rituals in such an open, reverential way. A book of the same title is also available."
"Around The Centerpost ~ Beyond Good And Evil"
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 09/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"`Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti' is an incredible visual document chronicling authentic Haitian Voundoun practices as they've never been viewed by the public-at-large before. Filmed between '47 and '51 by the legendary cult filmmaker and author Maya Deren who was an initiate into these religious practices, her involvement made it possible for her to gain access into its most intimate circles and record songs, rituals and festivals long hidden from the eyes of the unbeliever. The documentary is extraordinary in every way and of immense educational value to anyone in the fields of; comparative religions, anthropology, ethnology, musicology or psychology. 'Divine Horsemen' covers almost every conceivable aspect of the Voundoun experience:

1- Foundational beliefs and the background from which they sprang.
2- Clear explanations of the three Voundoun cults; (Rada, Petro and Congo), their origins and the differences in their practices.
3- Voundoun cosmology, the Deities and their hierarchical positioning.
4- Discussion of the various symbols and signets used to express Voudoun concepts and the different engeries to be released the by Gods.
5- A close up and personal viewing of the rituals, festivals and songs utilized by the various cults to call upon the Deities and the process of possession.
6- Explanations of the various roles acted out by the practitioners and their societal standing.

`Divine Horsemen' is only 52 minutes in length but it packs a lot of information into its allotted time. Definitely not geared for an evening with the family, but certainly an undiscovered gem for those chosen few with an open mind and a receptive heart.

One of the essentials to any library dealing with the realm of the mystical. My Rating: -5 Stars-."
Excellent Footage of Voodoo
Diaspora Chic | Silver Spring, MD | 06/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Often in the media, especially Hollywood, Voodoo is given a bad name. The people that conjure up these images have never experience being in another country or even do research on that particular subject. They get their information from people who are just as ignorant as they are.
About ten years ago I saw this film at the Smithsonian and was fascinated by the culture of Haiti. Haiti is negatively portrayed because they are connected to their African ancestry and being the first black nation to declare their independence from France, they have endured ignorance and cruelty from the outside world. Deren, being of Russian descent, visits the country knowing the people and their religious beliefs. The people of Haiti are connected to the spirit and nature, like their African ancestors. Although her life was cut short, this film is a classical documentary of Caribbean history and the black diaspora."