Monday, January 16, 2012

Beaten to the Punch

 I wish I'd done this first.

“Black Madonna” is a documentary series spanning centuries, continent, cultures and religions. This ‘road movie,’ is a Quest through a landscape of ‘heresy’ to explore the enigmatic icon of the black virgin and her role as a crossroads figure. Representing a spiritual matrix predating Christianity, she threatened the very formation of the early Church, and though suppressed, has shaped Western culture and consciousness.

I wish I'd gotten to it first because the documentary seems to be sensationalist and instead of focusing on the already interesting and well-grounded theories about Black Madonnas, will be a leap into humbug, to whit:

* What does an obscure 9th Century, black, rough hewn sculpture of a woman in the south of France have to do with Mary Magdalen, “The Da Vinci Code,” the mysteries of eros or the Divine Feminine?

* Was Mary Magdalene a high priestess of ancient spiritual lineage?

* Did Jesus perform sacred sexual rites with his Shekinah Mary Magdalene?

* What does the black madonna have to do with Cinderella, the Knights Templars, the Tarot or the Rromani people?

* Is the current crisis in Western religious institutions rooted in the suppression of ‘heretical’ ideas?

Interesting questions and I'm all for looking into some of them, sure, but that Da Vinci Code reference sets off alarm bells.  I'm willing to give this film its chance, but unless they're just being canny with the publicity and will actually take a more sober look at what is known and speculated about the origins and "meaning" of Black Madonnas, I smell hokum and exploitation.


  1. I wish you'd done it first, too! "Black Madonna has been supported to date by the Kentucky Foundation for Women, the Ohio Arts Council and Media Working Group." That seems like a strange.

    I like the photo, btw. The thumbs up. The snarling dog, yo! The Mona Lisa stoner grin. The golden orb. The chicken wire. All very good together.

    1. It is weird, the sponsors. I'd watch this thing, but it does smack of BS sensationalism. In a book I'm reading (A History of Christianity by McCulloch) he writes a line about how people go off on wild and murky esoteric theories rather than getting into the already fascinating story of Christianity. This is what I could see in the blurb. BV's are pretty wild and I've done a lot of speculating myself, but sex rites with Mary magdalene, Da Vinci Code, Tarot, High Priestesses. It could be a good doc disguised in order to get viewers who might otherwise be turned off by a documentary about the Madonna and folklore. Or not. I feel a little stupid at being so critical before even seeing it, but their way of presenting it has obviously made me leery.

      That photo is cool, eh? Photo isn't so hot, but the sculpture itself is one of my favorites. I wondered about that grin too. Jesus too. They do seemed stoned....the secret of the BV? :)


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