Popular Culture Review Vol. 24, No. 2, Summer 2013 - Page 31

Correction of a Falsified Image 27 conducting a spiritual bath and serving “as a medium between the spiritual and mundane world” (Reuber 17). Caroline does not do so. Third, in order for the herbs to work as intended, the priestess using the herbs in the ritual must empower them first. At no point in the film does Caroline do so. She only pours them into the water and then sprinkles them on Ben. Fourth, prior to being able to connect with any Iwa, the priestess needs to speak to the guarding o f the crossroad, Papa Legba. Only after having done so, will the medium be able to address other spirits and conduct a proper cleansing o f body and mind. In this sense, the priestess has to ensure that she serves “the appropriate offerings to the Iwa for the success o f these baths” (International Voodoo online); another important detail that Softley did not consider in his film. By having Caroline take action in this unprofessional way, Softley Strips the Voodoo religion o f its profoundness and complexity. Moreover, it almost seems like as if Softley ridicules the religion in letting the viewer believe that everybody— even the non-believers— can easily connect with the spiritual world, summon the Iwa, appease them with a white bum ing candle, intensify the interaction with the spirits by spitting rum on the candle, using herbs for freeing a body and mind from evil spirits, and uncrossing a previously crossed individual. Priest and Priestesses as Soul Seekers This leads to the last point o f discussion: The representation o f priest and priestesses in Angel Heart and The Skeleton Key. Due to the fact that Voodoo is compared to devil worship in Angel Heart, Parker does not address any possible function o f a Voodoo priest. He only focuses on the portrayal o f individual acts taken by the devil, alias Louis Cypher. Even though this is not quite the case in The Skeleton Key, Softley’s erroneous depiction o f the Voodoo priestess requires correction. Despite the fact that Violet Devereaux functions as the film ’s main medium who connects to the spiritual world either through chants or chalk drawings, she is far from being a truthful representation o f a Voodoo priestess for the following reasons: First, the work o f a Voodoo priestess is always geared towards the reestablishment o f harmony within nature, one’s family, and one’s seif. V iolet’s only concem, however, is the possession o f her victim ’s soul. She neither seeks to communicate with the spirits, nor provides her