Defunto, People of the Spirits

199752 mins

Hidden away from sight deep in the archipelago of Guinea Bissau, we find villages of people who have had almost no contact with the modern world. They do not know running water or electricity and they live and believe just as their ancestors did. It is a matriarchal society where men must earn their place and prove their worth before becoming productive members of society.

Proof comes in the form of an arduous initiation ceremony in which some boys do not make it out alive. Instead of letting the souls of these uninitiated boys wander the lands and terrorizing the people, selected women undergo an ancient ritual where they absorb the souls of the dead boys. These women take an honored and respected place in their society as they are now called the Defunto.

Editor’s Note: Please be aware that there is a brief graphic scene involving the killing of a chicken and using its entrails for divination.