Ancestral Worship in Film
What about Ancestral Worship in Film? Come learn about one man’s journey to sacred healing in Africa
This week on the ANU Asafo segment we have guest James Weeks discussing Ancestral worship in film. He created the forthcoming and important documentary Across the King’s River which is about his family’s journey to healing and reinvigorating their connection to their ancestral line.
The film is the first in its kind and tells the authentic story of traditional African Spirituality. It begins when James Week’s biological father dies and he decides to travel to Yoruba-land in order to meet his spiritual father. It continues to explore the rich and diverse ethnic healing traditions of the Dagara, Senegalese and Yoruba traditions.
Despite the difficulties of producing a film of this caliber and with the level of truthful insight into an Afrakan story, James Weeks remains hopeful. But in order to know that Ancestral worship in film and others like it are successful there must be communal support. This is one way to use economic power to bring about social change.
As James said, though there are few individuals in the African movie making business who have the money to push a story like this in the mainstream, we must not rely on them. Instead we should look to ourselves for the support.
The symbolism of traveling across the water, going from one world to another signifies a deeply spiritual journey. It can also signify going into self and traveling through the waters of blood in order to speak to the Ancestors.
And it is as if James Weeks and his family had to journey within self in order to go to heaven and find the answers they are looking for.
This could also be looked as a Sankofa journey, going back in order to move forward with a proper footing.
James sees this film as the door opener for other types of film of this nature that shows the idea and will of the Ancestors. Inside each and every one of us is a powerful story that should be shared.
The depths of healing can go as far as one is willing to travel for it. Going back to a place where your Ancestors touched the Earth is a dream for most individuals of the Diaspora.
You can write the story you want because as we learn in the ANU Spiritual Training class, we can create our reality. Coming into a knowing of self is one of the greatest healing gifts.