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The Cleansing Of Bonfim
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The Cleansing Of Bonfim


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Category: documentary
(Color-NTSC / Brazil and USA)

Synopsis: The Cleansing of Bonfim is a documentary about deep Brazil, based on religious syncretism.  Through testimonies from sociologists and historians, priests and devotees, Voodoo masters and babalorixás, Goulart returns to the roots of history to understand this religious, social and cultural phenomenon.

The Bonfim Saint originated in Setubal.  A Portuguese captain, in despair, facing a shipwreck, made a promise to the Lord of Bonfim that if he made it to Portugal alive, he'd bring his image to the colony.  And so he did.  In 1745, the image of Lord of Bonfim was brought to Salvador, beginning the story of devotion to the saint.

On the other hand, the Voodoo religion has its origins in the Republic of Benin, in Africa, and became Candomblé in Brazil through the slaves who were brought there.

It was the slaves themselves, washing the steps of the Church of Bonfim in Salvador, who have celebrated for more than 200 years the cleansing of Bonfim, which annually attracts thousands of devotees.

Brazil, which exports music, soccer, carnival and capoeira, is also exporting this celebration.  Through a stylized view, the cleansing of Bonfim is becoming a cultural and folkloric ritual that is even reaching the streets of New York and Paris.

Talking about the cleansing of Bonfim is to talk about the most democratic and popular religious celebration, which hosts various religions and beliefs in the name of faith and life.  How to explain this African-Brazilian phenomenon?  Perhaps sociologists have a concept or theory, but in fact the devotees are the ones who share with the audience the true meaning of the cleansing of Bonfim.

After the success of the short film The Cleansing Of Bonfim – From Bahia To New York, Goulart Filmes is producing the feature The Cleansing of Bonfim, which has locations in Salvador (Brazil), Setubal (Portugal), Porto-Novo (Benin), Ouida (Benin), New York (USA) and Paris (France).

Production: Goulart Filmes
Executive producer: Marcelo Nigri
Producers: Yves Goulart and Marcelo Nigri
Director: Yves Goulart
Photography: Yves Goulart


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