Edited film on the rapidly growing spiritist religion in urban Brazil known variously as Umbanda or Macumba. Shot principally in Rio de Janeiro, the film documents the beliefs, practices, and organization of various Umbanda <centros> and reveals the combination of African spiritism, Catholicism, and European spiritism that characterizes this distinctively Brazilian religion. Scenes of centro activity include musical performance, dancing, and possession of mediums by the pantheon of Umbanda spirits. Possessed mediums are shown in therapy sessions with clients of these centers and interviews with mediums and devotees explore the meaning of spiritual experience within Umbanda.
Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, MD