2022 / United States / 57 Minutes / Nyasha Laing
Imogene “Queenie” Kennedy was a contemporary priestess in post-colonial Jamaica who catapulted her African spiritual practice into renown. But after centuries of erasure, what remains of the dance between the living and the dead? In the wake of the loss of her mother, the filmmaker travels into the heart of the Jamaican countryside to research and witness kumina, an ancestral ritual. The ancient practice, she learns, is a driving force in Jamaica’s culture and identity. Yet historically, its leaders have been discarded as witches, even criminalized. Jamaica’s post-colonial renaissance enabled Queenie to share her practice and enabled artists and followers to celebrate it. But so much has been lost. What can be unearthed in this dance between the living and dead? Can those seeking refuge in Queenie’s story claim the powerful forces that are their ancestral birthright?