Since 2014, I have been spending two months a year in the Bijagós islands as a camera operator for 'The Secret Kingdom of the Bijagós', a four-part documentary series co-produced by Lx Filmes and the Scottish Documentary Institute.
'Sculpting the Spirits' is the first completed film.
"This story is about the magical world of the Bijagós people whose close relationship with spirits and nature informs their daily life and every decision taken by the community.
Their belief that man, nature and spirits are equal and interdependent makes the Bijagós a lost paradise. It is through sculpture that the intricate relationship of the Bijagós people with nature and spirits is best expressed.
Banca, a famous sculptor of Iras (spirits), feeling tired, old and worried about the future of a culture in profound transformation, does his last sculpture instructing his son in the hope he will take over.
Guided by a storyteller and our characters' voice 'Sculpting the Spirits' is a journey exploring how women embody spirits while men sculpt or perform them."
by directors Noémie Mendelle and Luís Correia - http://www.bijagosfilms.com/sculpting_the_spirits
For more images from the series, watch the teaser below (subtitles in Portuguese only).