Sometime in the mid 1990s, around Easter, I stumbled upon a VH-1 showing of the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. I caught it in the middle, but I sat mesmerized, watching what appeared to be a rag-tag bunch of 1970s hippies and yippies singing and dancing a passion play. In the desert (!?) Before I knew it, the film had ended. But, being VH-1, it naturally started up again. So I watched it a second time. A few hours later I couldn’t deny it. I was hooked. And most shocking of all, the character who affected me the most wasn’t the guy playing the requisite Lord and Savior. It was Judas.
The United States of Hoodoo is an upcoming documentary film by Oliver Hardt and Darius James. Originally picked this up from Aker Futuristically Ancient’s blog and was just going to reblog, but wanted to add my few thoughts. The blurb on the documentary’s official website describes it as an exploration “about how African based spirituality has informed America’s popular culture” that “shakes up traditional and stereotypical ways of thinking about race, religion, rationality.” The West and Central African syncretic religions that traveled to the New World via the trans Atlantic slave trade have indeed informed much of American popular speculative culture, but unfortunately in not so commendable ways.