Religion/Spirituality

1988
Wai'a: The Secret of Men

Among the Xavante of Mato Grosso, the Wai’a is an important stage in a male initiation ritual that happens once every 15 years. Wai’a: The Secret of Men documents the ceremonies that prepare young men for contact with supernatural forces. The young people of the village directed the filming and assisted with the editing to make a record for the next generation. Directed by Virginia Valadão. In Xavante with English subtitles.

2011
Dana Levy, The Wake

The Wake was filmed at the Invertebrate Zoology department of the Carnegie Natural History Museum in Pittsburgh. In this department there are old cabinets full of categorized butterfly specimens, neatly ordered in drawers.  I released into this space 100 live butterflies that flew among the dead specimens.  The result is as if these dead specimens have now come to life.

2006
Web of Vice

Shot with my students at the San Francisco Art Institute, this colorful drama with song and dance numbers (plus burlesque acts) follows the libidinous poisoning of Vatican personnel by an otherworldly intruder. The cast is mostly young and vibrant and the songs staged as opulently as possible on a $400 budget. Anyone interested in these collaborative productions will find a lot to gawk at in this backstage romance with pagan overtures galore.

2007
Wedding

"Wedding takes its name from the predominantly Turkish neighborhood in Berlin where most of the footage of the film has been recorded. During the course of six months in 2006-2007, I have recorded the wedding ceremonies of Turkish and Kurdish immigrants in Berlin, which culminated in a large video archive. From this archive I have created a three-channel video piece.. But the experiences I have gathered during the course of this project and the archive later led me to include this subject in my current PhD thesis, on cultural performances, and crowd theory."

2008
Witchery

Secret number... secret shape... knower of the secret name... God of the realm of night - I summon you, 'Son of Sin'... arise!

1995
Yãkwá - The Banquet of the Spirits

A four-part documentary, Yãkwá shows the most important ritual of the Enauênê-Nauê Indians (Brazil). For seven months every year, the spirits are venerated with offerings of food, song, and dance so that they will protect the community. In “The World Outside the Rock” the Yaõkwá festivities open with the Enauênê-Nauê preparing for the big fish-catch by making salt, canoes, and fish traps. In “Dataware’s Revenge” groups of men leave the villages for two months and build dams on forest waterways to catch fish as they return from spawning.