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Saravá Shalom

Sarava Shalom is a documentary about cross-cultural dialogue between Jewish and Brazilian mystical traditions

Sarava Shalom presents original footage of mystical rituals and spirit invocation songs alongside scholarly commentaries by leading experts of Brazilian religions, including Professors Sergio and Mundicarmo Ferreti, Reginaldo Prandi, Francisco Moreno de Carvalho, Andea Kogan, Alberto Groisman and Father Alexandre Cumino. 

The film tells the stories of Brazilians who practice both Judaism and local mystical traditions by communicating with Jewish spirits. These encounters between present-day practitioners and their ancestors, historical or Biblical characters serve as antidotes for Jewish historical traumas.

The first part of Sarava Shalom, which presents invocations of spirits of rabbis and kabbalists, was filmed in ‘Brazilian Stonehenge’ of Florianopolis.  The next section will be shot in Rio de Janeiro’s Jewish spiritist temple. The documentary will end with scenes filmed in the abandoned village of north-eastern Brazil documenting the offerings to spirits of Crypto-Jews who used to hide there from the Inquisition.

Sarava Shalom documents little known inter-religious dialogue and contributes to the fight against religious intolerance.

Sarava Shalom is a project of Alex Minkin and Andrea Kogan. 

       Alex is a Brooklyn-based visual anthropologist, focusing his research on the intersections between Jewish and Brazilian cultures. In his articles, lectures, and the documentary Urban Orishas (2022), he presents the stories of spiritual practitioners in a format that reflects the mystery of these experiences and their groundedness in history and myth. Alex is the founder of Ticún Brasil, which offers cultural and volunteer opportunities for travelers to Brazil, as well as cultural activities in New York.

       Andréa owns a PhD in Religious Studies and her main focus are on Judaism, Contemporary Religion, Death and Afterlife. She has a Bachelor´s degree in English and Portuguese and also works with communication. Andrea is the academic assistant of Labô – Laboratory of Politics, Behavior and Media at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo where she also coordinates the research group on Death and Afterlife and is a researcher in the group of Contemporary Judaism. She lectures at conferences around the world on Brazilian religions, religious syncretism and contemporary Judaism and her book “Espiritismo Judaico” (Jewish Spiritism) was released in 2018. 

concept | alex minkin, andrea kogan
music | bia schneider, vani levi
video | carlos lenine, alex minkin, rafael coelho, vincent moon (hibridos.cc)
special thanks | marília carbonari, IMMA (https://www.instagram.com/immafloripa/)

SUPPORT | Study Group of Kabbalah and its Cultural Reverberations at Federal University of Sergipe, Brazil http://sefarditas.net.br/

The trailers are filmed at IMMA and other locations in Florianopolis and Rio de Janeiro for the upcoming Saravá Shalom documentary by Alex Minkin and Andrea Kogan.

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