Bahia Of All The Saints

This classic film from the BBC Arena strand must be ranked one of the most magnificent examples of the art of observational documentary making ever committed to celluloid.

Bahia of all the Saints was Brazil’s major port for nearly three centuries and it still maintains its legacy of African traditions, with a Black population of over eighty percent, descended mainly from the slaves brought over by
the Portuguese, from West Africa. Presenting a portrait of the Bahian people, this documentary captures their spirit, music, culture and religion, Candomble, which combines Catholic and African beliefs. The everyday
life of the port city and its hinterlands is alive with rhythm, ceremony and spirituality, an atmosphere that has been captured on film with an intimacy and attention to detail that is sometimes overwhelming: as well as gathering amazing footage of local religious festivals and carnivals, the production team gained permission, which is rarely granted, to film the
most sacred of Candomble ceremonies.

The film explores, with breadth and power, the effect of this unifying culture and religion, its ability to maintain social cohesion in a region where institutional racism and poverty have ruled for centuries. This one of the top highlights of the Festival: Superb and thoroughly recommended.

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