SAÚDE E FÉ
Documentary Feature | Director | 2003
Video 105 mins, Brazil 2003.
Available in Portuguese only
Saúde e Fé (Health and Faith) is a feature documentary about a remarkable program in Brazil in which doctors and traditional Afro-Brazilian religious healers work together.
In remote or urban areas of Brazil, traditional temples are part of everyday life of neighborhoods, and its populations. Afro-Brazilian religions such as Vodun, Tambor de Mina, and Camdomblé provide spiritual and physical strength to followers and those who seek help. The very poor use the religious rituals of cleansing, baths, and spiritual possession – alongside the national medical system.
But, if the patients were open-minded to all cures, doctors and traditional practitioners were not. Traditionally, these two groups viewed one another with suspicion and contempt. Hospitals and terreiros (temples) were completely separate worlds.
Then, in March of 2002, an innovative program called Ato Ire was born. Ato Ire encourages doctors and traditional Afro-Brazilian religious healers to work together to treat health problems of a desperately poor but very religious people.
We learn of the work of some of the most important players in the fight for healthcare rights among peoples of African, indigenous, and cabloclo (African and indigenous) descent in Brazil. High priests and priestesses as well as doctors and health educators work together to connect traditional healing treatments to modern medicine, and vice-versa.
Saúde e Fé was funded by the Ford Foundation in Brazil and used for screenings throughout Brazil by the Ató Irê Project and Centro de Cultura Negra do Maranhão.
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