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Faith, The Earth Giveth, The Earth Taketh Away

Film/Video

Faith
Faith
Image courtesy of Ricardo Dias
Ricardo Dias
Ricardo Dias
Image courtesy of Ricardo Dias
Faith
Faith
Image courtesy of Ricardo Dias
The Earth Giveth, The Earth Taketh Away
The Earth Giveth, The Earth Taketh Away
Image courtesy of Rodrigo Siqueria
The Earth Giveth, The Earth Taketh Away
The Earth Giveth, The Earth Taketh Away
Image courtesy of Rodrigo Siqueria
The Earth Giveth, The Earth Taketh Away
The Earth Giveth, The Earth Taketh Away
Image courtesy of Rodrigo Siqueria
Faith
Ricardo Dias
Faith
Trailer - Terra Deu, Terra Come
The Earth Giveth, The Earth Taketh Away
The Earth Giveth, The Earth Taketh Away
The Earth Giveth, The Earth Taketh Away

Faith
The Earth Giveth, The Earth Taketh Away

(, Ricardo Dias, 1999)
(Terra deu, terra come, Rodrigo Siqueira, 2009)

Wed, Feb 26, 2014 7 PM
Wed, Feb 26, 2014 8:40 PM

At the end of the millennium, documentarian Ricardo Dias traveled across Brazil to provide a vast, diverse portrait of spirituality as it was currently practiced. The vastness and diversity of the country allows for a spectrum of types of devotion, rituals, and religious celebrations. With a cool-eyed anthropologist’s perspective, Dias lets believers—from Catholics and practitioners of the African-derived Candomblé to UFO watchers—share their ideas about faith without judgment. Belief in general emerges as a dominant Brazilian characteristic since citizens have lost faith in authorities and found their own alternatives. As a psychiatrist says at the end of the film, for believers, to hold faith “is more important than to be Brazilian.” (91 mins., video)

The Earth Giveth, The Earth Taketh Away is an extraordinary movie. Genius!”—Eduardo Coutinho

Filmed in a backlands area of the rural but historically important Minas Gerais region, The Earth Giveth, The Earth Taketh Away is simultaneously a character study, an inquiry into the country’s cultural history, and a questioning of the documentary form itself. While travelling to research the film, Rodrigo Siqueira encountered Pedro de Alexina, one of the last guardians of the funeral traditions brought by Africans to the mining region of Diamantina in the 18th century. The region’s dialect, a merging of African and Portuguese traditions, only has a few remaining funeral ritual songs, and de Alexina embodies these disappearing aspects of his region throughout the film, serving as a griot, telling tales and legends. The film seems to unfold outside of time and space as de Alexina tours us through a place where death meets life and where God and the Devil coexist in the land of the sun. Within the film’s many contradictions is a question of the difference between tradition and imagination; as one Brazilian film critic noted, the film “is so realistic that it becomes a fiction.” (88 mins., video)

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