For centuries, millions of West Africans were shipped in slave ships to work in plantations in countries like Brazil. Many of them took with them their religion, and managed to hold on to it from generation to generation, even against the influence of the colonial masters.
This movie captures the struggle to keep holding on.
Natalia Diaz is a young immigrant woman who is torn between assimilating to American culture or rediscovering her Afro-Brazilian roots through the Candomblé religion.
Candomble, which means ‘dance in honour of the gods’, is a fusion of Yoruba, Fon, and Bantu beliefs that made it across the Atlantic during the slave trade.
For her, the struggle is between her christian faith and the Candomble roots back home in Brazil.
This 30-minute film is capturing her journey to rediscover those roots by herself. She does this by revolting against her mother, and then travelling back to Brazil.
Why is this even important?
According to the film’s director, Chelsea Odufu;
“With this film we are trying to remove the negative stigmas placed on traditional African religions, and critique ideas of cultural supremacy and intolerance of anything that is different in our society.”
While the whole back-to-the-roots movement only seems to have gained global popularity following the symbolism in Beyonce’s Lemonade project, work has really been going on for so long, and this film is proof.
The film premieres in New York City on Saturday June 25, and it is not yet known if it will get a Nigerian screening.
Watch the trailer here;