Neither Day Nor Night

Roderick Peter Steel
10 minutes


Goddess of love and death, `YEW is the most mysterious of all the African-Brazilian orix's.YEW has eluded ethnographers working both in Africa and Latin America, and appears only as a footnote in the extensive bibliography on Yoruba culture and religion. In this experimental film, 6 young women recently initiated to Yew discuss the physical trial of possession by this deity, while recalling dreams and visions from their initiation. Among the voices 8 heard one stands out: it belongs to the oldest person initiated to Yew in Brazil, Mae Senhora from the Gantois temple in Salvador, Bahia, initiated in the 40s. Possession remains outside the limits of visual knowledge: primarily because when in a trance-state initiates are 'asleep' and have no memory of possession, but secondly because traditional film also cannot penetrate this state. New technologies such as 3D animation offer a chance to bridge the gap between the visible and invisible worlds of the trance, while exploring the limits between fantasy and ethnography.