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Films & Other Videos

Films with: Werbner, Richard P.

Counterpoint Botswana
Seeing Holy Hustlers, the 2009 film made in Botswana, local viewers respond and discuss it with the filmmaker Richard Werbner in 2011. Counterpoint Botswana captures the reception by home audience. Widely shared are moments evoking laughter, shock and remarkably intense, thoughtful reflection. Holy Hustlers is moving, local viewers agree. But while welcoming that - it is seen to be a documentary that appeals to people in Botswana - they disagree, when asked about the reasons for their responses; and they argue about characters, scenes and the very nature of representation in Holy Hustlers. The screenings elicit contradictory interpretations. These are expressed by some subjects of the film, by University of Botswana staff, students and the invited public, and by activists of two youth organisations, YOHO (Youth Health Organisation) and YIAS (Youth in Action Society). - from container.
DVD 9070
Encountering Eloyi
"Of all the faith-healing churches in Botswana, Eloyi is the most controversial. Sensational stories in newspapers and on television have made Eloyi notorious for so-called witch-busting and for exorcising demons. Known as tokoloshi, they appear like a nightmare image of an overwhelming consumer society. While attacking traditional ritual as Satan's work, Eloyi brings back, in a Christian or even more remarkably Old Testament guise, many old Tswana practices. Rarely in the ritual of other churches is empathy for others' and their mortal frailty so powerfully realised as in this Apostolic church during a séance. The film shows the impact of such empathy and the demonic in the lives of a childless couple, Martha and Njebe, originally from the countryside and now settled in Botswana's capital city. After a long quest for healing by traditional doctors and gynaecological treatment by Western hospitals, Martha chooses to seek help from Eloyi. Her choice widens the gulf between Eloyi's city branch and its village headquarters, between the church's city bishop and his father, the archbishop"--Container.
DVD 7860
Holy hustlers a film /
"Charismatic, street-wise young men, living in Botswana's capital, command the prophetic domain in Eloyi, their Apostolic faith-healing church, at a time of escalating crisis. Bitter, sinful accusations divide Eloyi's village-based archbishop and his son, the city-based bishop. The church itself, seen to be 'under destruction', splits."--container.
DVD 7859
Séance reflections
DVD 7862
Shade seekers and the mixer
Dr. Richard Werbner returns to Moremi village in the Tswapong hills of Botswana to follow-up on an earlier film Séance reflections, with the subject of that previous film as research assistant. Discusses the idea of 'serti' which literally means shade, the idea that power, dignity and charisma are tied to the light in which a person is seen by others, especially ones ancestors. The controversial healer seen in the séance sequences of the previous film is accused of polluting the earth by wrongly mixing Christian and non-Christian and doing so for personal gain, as he defends his God-given mission for "the original way."
DVD 7861