1358 – The Fighting Preacher (2019)

timespace coordinates: Palmyra, New York 1915 – 1939

The Fighting Preacher is a 2019 drama film written and directed by T. C. ChristensenThe film focuses on Willard Bean (David McConnell) and his wife, Rebecca (Cassidy Hubert), who are in involved in a 25-year missionary service in Palmyra, New York. The story of a boxer who became a Mormon preacher. He is posted to a town in New York, which had previously driven out the last Mormon preacher 80 years ago. (wiki)

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795 – Cure (1997)

timespace coordinates: 1990’s Tokyo7c24bc1bc14016e1c234293bc7985ffcCure (キュア Kyua) is a 1997 Japanese psychological horror-thriller film written and directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, starring Kōji YakushoMasato Hagiwara, Tsuyoshi Ujiki and Anna Nakagawa. The film was released to strong critical acclaim in both the East and the West, with critics praising Kurosawa’s direction as well as the visuals and atmosphere. In 2012, South Korean film director Bong Joon-ho listed the film as one of the greatest films of all time. (wiki)

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mesmerism   hypnosis

781 – Ignacio de Loyola (2016)

timespace coordinates: 1496 AzpeitiaBasque Country / 1521 Pamplona  / 1522, monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat, town of Manresa (Catalonia) / 1527 Salamancaignacio_de_loyola-463728337-largeIgnacio de Loyola is a 2016 English-language Philippine historical biographical religious drama film directed by Paolo Dy & Cathy Azanza. It is based on the memoirs of Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order who was canonized as a saint in the Catholic Church. The film stars Andreas Muñoz, a Spanish actor who portrays the titular character in the film.

‘If you could hear the voice of God, would you want to keep it secret?’ This is the story of a soldier, a man of vice and violence who, in his attempt to turn to the light, was forced to wrestle with his inner demons to the very brink of death. The film chronicles his valiant but futile defense at the Battle of Pamplona, his struggles with depression and near-suicide, his trial before the Inquisition, and his ultimate vindication.

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612 – Davi Kopenawa, Bruce Albert, Alison Dundy – The falling sky – words of a Yanomami shaman

The Falling Sky is a remarkable first-person account of the life story and cosmo-ecological thought of Davi Kopenawa, shaman and spokesman for the Yanomami of the Brazilian Amazon. Representing a people whose very existence is in jeopardy, Davi Kopenawa paints an unforgettable picture of Yanomami culture, past and present, in the heart of the rainforest–a world where ancient indigenous knowledge and shamanic traditions cope with the global geopolitics of an insatiable natural resources extraction industry.the-falling-sky-1In richly evocative language, Kopenawa recounts his initiation and experience as a shaman, as well as his first encounters with outsiders: government officials, missionaries, road workers, cattle ranchers, and gold prospectors. He vividly describes the ensuing cultural repression, environmental devastation, and deaths resulting from epidemics and violence. To counter these threats, Davi Kopenawa became a global ambassador for his endangered people. The Falling Sky follows him from his native village in the Northern Amazon to Brazilian cities and finally on transatlantic flights bound for European and American capitals. These travels constitute a shamanic critique of Western industrial society, whose endless material greed, mass violence, and ecological blindness contrast sharply with Yanomami cultural values.

Bruce Albert, a close friend since the 1970s, superbly captures Kopenawa’s intense, poetic voice. This collaborative work provides a unique reading experience that is at the same time a coming-of-age story, a historical account, and a shamanic philosophy, but most of all an impassioned plea to respect native rights and preserve the Amazon rainforest. (amazon)

“When I come back from a trip among the white people, the dizziness leaves my eyes after a while and my thought be-comes clear again. I no longer hear cars, machines, or airplanes. I only lend an ear to the tooro toads and krouma frogs that call the rain in the forest. I only hear the rustling of the leaves in the wind and the rumbling of the thunders in the sky. The ignorant words of the city politicians gradually vanish in the quiet of my sleep. I become calm again by going to hunt and making my spirits dance.

The forest is very beautiful to see. It is cool and aromatic. When you move through it to hunt or travel, you feel joyful and your mind is slow-paced. You listen to the chirping of the cicadas in the distance, or the cries of the curassows and the agami herons, and the clamor of the spider monkeys in the trees. Your worries are eased. Your thoughts can then follow one another without getting obscured.”

066 – The Mission (1986)

spacetime coordinates:  18th century South America

the_mission_poster

The Mission is based on events surrounding the Treaty of Madrid in 1750, in which Spain ceded part of Jesuit Paraguay to Portugal. A significant subtext is the impending Suppression of the Jesuits, of which Father Gabriel is warned by the film’s narrator, Cardinal Altamirano, who was once himself a Jesuit. Altamirano, speaking in hindsight in 1758, corresponds to the actual Andalusian Jesuit Father Luis Altamirano, who was sent by Jesuit Superior General Ignacio Visconti to Paraguay in 1752 to transfer territory from Spain to Portugal. He oversaw the transfer of seven missions south and east of the Río Uruguay, that had been settled by Guaranis and Jesuits in the 17th century. As compensation, Spain promised each mission 4,000 pesos, or fewer than 1 peso for each of the circa 30,000 Guaranis of the seven missions, while the cultivated lands, livestock, and buildings were estimated to be worth 7–16 million pesos. The film’s climax is the Guarani War of 1754–1756, during which historical Guaranís defended their homes against Spanish-Portuguese forces implementing the Treaty of Madrid. For the film, a re-creation was made of one of the seven missions, São Miguel das Missões.

Father Gabriel’s character is loosely based on the life of Paraguayan saint and Jesuit Roque González de Santa Cruz. The story is taken from the book The Lost Cities of Paraguay by Father C. J. McNaspy, S.J., who was also a consultant on the film.

The waterfall setting of the film suggests the combination of these events with the story of older missions, founded between 1610–1630 on the Paranapanema River above the Guaíra Falls, from which Paulista slave raids forced Guaranís and Jesuits to flee in 1631. The battle at the end of the film evokes the eight-day Battle of Mbororé in 1641, a battle fought on land as well as in boats on rivers, in which the Jesuit-organized, firearm-equipped Guaraní forces stopped the Paulista raiders.

Historical inaccuracies

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040 – georgica (1998)

spacetime coordinate: post-World War II Estonia

Georgica is a 1998 Estonian drama film directed by Sulev Keedus. The film takes its name from Virgil‘s poem of the same name.

The action takes place in post-World War II Estonia. An old man lives alone on a deserted island which the Soviet fighter planes use for nighttime target practicing. A young neglected boy, who has become mute, is banished from the mainland and sent to the island to keep the old man company. Both are haunted by memories, the boy about his mother and the old man about the years before World War I he spent as a missionary in Africa.


Jakub: If you want to live and survive… then wait… Wait…and do what you’ve got to do. And then…wait again… This is the best thing you can do in this world…
I have seen it and I can tell you… You may push but only slightly… And then wait again… And you’ll live your life – and eat bread and honey… I eat honey –
and translate this old Vergil into Swahili… And I make silage for the animals on the continent… And you too will start talking when the right time has come…
(…) This end of the wax cylinder, it’s still quite empty… This is for you… Then later you can hear what your voice was like – when you were on the island – with an old man, a horse and some bees…