Haitian Vodou is an art. I consider the vodouisants as great artists and Vodou as a theater of the sacred. The trance-induced visions, epiphany and catharsis that are created within the ritual act, play on the elemental nature of life and death. It is a ceremonial process whose subterranean language is made of earth, fire, blood. Haiti contains a profoundly religious mind because it exists in a wasteland. This necessitates an inner strength that is unknown in our secular, economically privileged world. Direct, unfiltered communication with the unconscious, what the vodouisant calls ‘esprit’ or ‘les Mysteres’, acts as a source by which suffering can be translated through ritual forms. These are ancestral movements that are without real explanation except that this very human urge propels them through the nightmare of history and is impossible to destroy. Produced for the Smithsonian.