#LookOutForIt – “Ori Inu: In Search of Self,” is a coming of age tale, written by siblings, Chelsea and Emann Odufu. The Odufus are of Guyanese heritage.
Shot in Trinidad & Tobago, the film tells the story of “a young immigrant woman who must choose between conforming her identity and spirituality to the cultural norms of America or revisiting her roots in the Afro-Brasilian religion called Candomblé.”
Watch the trailer:
Speaking with AfroPunk and what inspired her to make the film, Chelsea stated: After reading this and also an article from NPR about people being prosecuted for practicing candomble, I knew had to go there with the film. We are Christians so we really had to step away for a minute and do some research to make sure we weren’t eroticizing other religions.”
After learning about the film, we did a little digging to find out exactly what “Candomblé” is. This is some of what we found:
The name “Candomblé” means ‘dance in honor of the gods.’ As with many ancestral African practices, it is an oral tradition – a mixture of traditional Yoruba, Fon and Bantu beliefs and like Voodun, has incorporated some aspects of the Catholic faith over time.
Practitioners of the faith believe in one all powerful God – Oludumaré – who is served by lesser deities, or Orishas. Every person has their own personal Orisha, who serves as their protector. Each Orisha represents a certain force in nature and is associated with certain foods, colours, animals and days of the week. A person’s character or personality is strongly linked to their Orisha. Music and dance are important parts of Candomblé ceremonies, and specially choreographed dances are performed by worshippers to enable them to become possessed by the Orishas. While particularly popular in Brasil, it is practiced in other countries and has as many as 2 million followers.
Les Nubians performing in the film
After running a successful Kickstarter campaign, the film is currently in post-production.
We’re looking forward to seeing the complete film. Be sure to check here for updates on the release.