Popular Culture Review Vol. 24, No. 2, Summer 2013 - Page 19

Correction of a Falsified Image 15 so, the two films succeed in biending these characteristics with unsolicited ideas for the sake o f dramatic effect. As a result, Hollywood, once again, marginalizes the religion and its followers as being sinister, secretive, evil, and fearful. It is, thus, the goal o f this article to deconstruct Hollywood’s falsified Voodoo construct and to contribute to a better understanding o f this monotheistic faith. Voodoo Rituals Derived from the African Ewe and Fon people from the Benin region, Voodoo, which is sometimes spelled “vodou” or “vodoun” and translated into “god” or “spirit,” is a religion o f ancestor worship that incorporates many diverse rituals resembling those o f the African people. According to the Voodoo tradition, ancestors never cease to be connected to their relatives. Hence, the influence they had during their lifetime continues after their death. It is this linkage between the living and the dead that does not only “make up the very source o f [the worshippers’ or believers’] being,” but that makes up the power o f the religion (Osbey 9). As Jeffrey E. Anderson States in his insightful monograph, Hoodoo, Voodoo, and Conjure. A Handbook (2008), Voodoo rituals combine ceremonies o f worship and initiation, in which “offerings, dance, ritual drumming to summon the Iwa, and the drawing o f secret images, called veve” play an important role (Anderson, Hoodoo 40). Depending on regional customs, the honoring o f Voodoo’s supreme deity— the Bondye —and o f its spiritual helpers - the-/w a2-ca n take different forms. However, drumming, dancing, chanting, and wheat meal or commeal drawings o f veve3 — symbolic representations o f the Iwa on the ground— are always part o f any ceremony. Honoring of the Gods and Spirits in a Voodoo Ceremony In Chapter 14 o f the film Angel Heart, Alan Parker presents the viewer a Voodoo ceremony, in which a small congregation unites in the deep swamps o f Louisiana. In the dark, hidden behind oak trees covered in moss \