The Many Faces of a Venezuelan Goddess

María Lionza is the most popular Goddess in Venezuela. Several individuals belonging to very different social circles maintain particular links with her image. In the Venezuelan mythological universe this Goddess is an exceptional case because, depending on the representations, she is represented as an Indian, mixed race, white and black woman. Sometimes she is a beneficial entity and sometimes an evil one. The individuals in this documentary offer a portrait of the rich symbolism of Maria Lionza, and highlight some of the roles her image plays in contemporary Venezuelan society, and some of the ethnic, religious and social conflicts which characterize this society. At the end of the film, at an opening of an exhibition on María Lionza, all the images shown during the film coincide in one space.

Roger Canals

Roger Canals was born in 1980. He is a recent PhD in Visual Anthropology with a thesis Images of the cult of María Lionza. An essay on visual anthropology. His film The Many Faces of a Venezuelan Goddes was awarded the best project for first ethnographic film EHESS-CNRS Images- France. He works as a teacher of Visual Anthropology at the University of Barcelona.

La sang i la gallina, 2008 (short film).
Visages d’une déesse vénézuélienne (The many faces of a Venezuelan Goddess), 2007 Les coulisses de Sorte, 2006 (short film)
Cançons d’un estiu a Clamecy, 2004. (Film for the Master of Anthropology and Visual Communication of the University of Barcelona).

Director: Roger Canals
Production: CNRS-Images
Duration: 55 min
Country: France/Venezuela, 2007