||MANA — Beyond Belief
photos from a new movie
Peter Friedman and Roger Manley
All over the world, in every society, there are objects that have special
power over people. People climb mountains or make pilgrimages just to
see or touch them. They prostrate themselves or engage in rituals in their
presence, caress them in the hopes of absorbing some of their magic, they
enshrine them in temples or pass them on to descendants; wear them or
store them in treasure houses or sometimes burn them. An individual object
might hold power over only one group or even just one person, but the
phenomenon of "power objects" is universal.
The central idea behind the new motion picture "MANA-beyond belief"
is that the way people behave in the presence of these power objects reveals
a process of the human mind which is fundamental and universal: belief.
By revealing the myriad activities and behaviors that take place around
power objects — things that are precious because people believe
they are — this new film presents an interesting way of looking
at what is happening all around us, all the time. Belief is not just religion;
it drives the stock market, it determines how we deal with history and
our personal memories, it underlies racism and war.
Bringing together diverse cultures, characters, visual styles, music and
fascinating objects, MANA
attempts to identify the essential, invisible element underlying them
The film is a feature of the Avignon Film Festival in June 2005, and
will be screened in San Francisco at the Roxy Theater starting July 8.