4:20PM 24th April @HigashihonkanーDaikyousitu(東本館大教室)

”Holy Hustlers”- Filming Faith-healing and Street-wise Charismatics

1)Screening the film and
2)a talk given by the Director, Richard Werbner,
Professor emeritus of Manchester University(Anthropology),
Visiting Professor, Graduate University of Advanced Studies,
National Musueum of Ethnology, Osaka



Charismatic, street-wise young men, living in Botswana’s capital,
command the prophetic domain in Eloyi, their Apostolic faith-healing
church. A crisis is escalating. Bitter, sinful accusations divide
Eloyi’s village-based archbishop and his son, the city-based bishop.
The church itself, seen ‘under destruction’, splits.

Prophets take sides. Waging a spiritual war of good and evil, they
swing passionately. With reckless energy, they whirl dance in
ecstasy, ‘flying’, feeling their lavish robes, glorious for God’s sake,
charged by holy electricity. They run wild, exorcising demons. Calm,
they meditate and pray. Inspired in trance by the Holy Spirit,
prophets are seen feeling patients’ pain in their own bodies. But
beyond empathy and avowed compassion, prophets hustle and shock.
Pushing impatiently, they jostle, even batter, their patients
emotionally with fear of trusted relatives’ hidden malice, of
witchcraft from home beyond the city. For protection, they extract
fees the church forbids.

As young city men with strong village ties and village origins,
prophets impose their own street-wise vision of deceptive appearances,
dangers in a familiar world of belonging.

The tension between holiness and hustling is creative. This film shows
how, in a crisis, city prophets assert themselves powerfully because
they are both holy and hustlers.