Karen Kramer

Jolo Serpent Handlers, The (1978) 16mm, color, 40 min

Genre: Documentary

Keywords: Environment & Nature, Spiritual / Mystical

An in-depth portrait of a small snake-handling church in Appalachia, that not only shows two fascinating serpent-handling services, but answers many of the questions about this religion and the people who practice it. Church members speak of why they handle snakes; what gap it fills in their lives; what it's like to grow up in the religion; and the pain of losing a family member from the poisonous snakebite. Varied scenes of: the rattlesnake hunt through the mountains; the washing of the serpents; the annual outdoor homecoming service; a rare documentation of an all-night prayer vigil held for the victim of a rattlesnake bite; and many interviews taken with people inside the relaxed atmosphere of their homes. --K. K.

Rental: $65.00
16mm Rental: $65.00

Karen Kramer

Haitian Song (1982) 16mm, color, 50 min

Genre: Documentary

Keywords: Personal / Diary / Journal

A beautiful and alluring film about life in a small rural village, the film focuses on the 'rituals' of everyday life; getting water from the river; making rope by hand from sisal; cooking rice and beans over an outdoor fire; planting and harvesting; etc. A lyrical portrait punctuated by haunting songs, the film is recommended for any audience interested in how another people lives. --K. K.

Rental: $85.00
16mm Rental: $85.00

Karen Kramer

To Serve the Gods (1982) 16mm, color, 33 min

Genre: Documentary

Keywords: Ethnic / Multicultural, Personal / Diary / Journal

"... introduces us to the intricate system of belief, ritual, performance, and aesthetic values in a service for the gods in Southern Haiti. It exemplifies the close relationships between the gods, the land and the extended family in one rural community. By the film's conclusion we have learned that to serve the gods is to celebrate. And celebration involves drumming, song, dance possession, animal sacrifice, and sharing food. Recommended not only to anthropologists and students of Afro-Caribbean religions, but also to general audiences interested in Haitian life." --American Anthropologist

Rental: $60.00
16mm Rental: $60.00

Karen Kramer

Legacy of the Spirits (1986) 16mm, color, 52 min

Genre: Documentary

Keywords: Ethnic / Multicultural, Spiritual / Mystical

An informative documentary about the religion of Vodou (commonly called 'voodoo' by outsiders), that gets rid of many of the stereotypes connected with this religion. It traces the religion from Africa to Haiti to New York City and explains the meaning of the rituals, the pantheon of spirits, the sacred drawings, possession, more. Filmed entirely in the Caribbean communities of New York City, it is the priests and priestesses themselves who narrate the film and give it the quality of being both personal, yet informative. Since the religion has always been kept underground, this is the first time practitioners have spoken openly about it on camera. --K. K.

Rental: $90.00
16mm Rental: $90.00

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