Chaalo, the Voices of Mourning| 53mins
Director: JeanMarc Lamoure | Producer: Chinguitty Films
Focus Years: 2004 | Country: France
This film deals with the meeting of Jean-Marc Lamoure, the director of this movie, and Chaalo Magarsa, a mystic religious leader living in the rural areas of Western Ethiopia. Mister Chaalo, as he likes to be named, is a man dressed like a woman, worshipping through spirit possession cults the local divinities of the area. Chaalo is the head priest of the Moâ€™aata, a religious group celebrating Demamiti, the female spirit who catches individuals affected by the death of one relative. Each year, in the end of the rainy season, the local community gathers around the shrine of the great religious leader of the area incarnated by Damfa, the patron saint of the whole valley. During these ceremonies, the religious group led by Chaalo performs a possession ritual to express its devotion to Damfa. It is in this celebrating context that Jean-Marc Lamoure met Mister Chaalo for the first time in September 2001. Haunted by the recent death of his brother, Jean-Marc Lamoure found an echo to its pain following the tracks of Chaalo through the sensitive path of mourning.