USA – 2004 – 90 MIN – COLOUR - FEATURE - IN ENGLISH
A FILM BY PETER FRIEDMAN
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 filming power objects around the world-things that are precious because people believe they are-and revealing the myriad activities and behaviors that take place around them, this new feature film presents an exciting new 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 — BEYOND BELIEF helps us see the essential, invisible element under- lying them all.
Mana is the Polynesian word for the power that resides in things. Appropriately, a Maori priest filmed in a New Zealand rainforest sets the stage for an odyssey which takes us from the Arizona deserts through Asia, Africa and Europe and finally to a real-life time machine-with stops along the way at nuclear reactors, art museums, Burmese temples, Elvisland, relic smugglers, voodoo ceremonies and the halls of Congress.
Shot in crisp, state-of-the-art High Definition video transferred to 35mm, MANA — BEYOND BELIEF is an adventure, both across the globe and into the human mind.