Witchcraft and occultism have always been some controversial topics for centuries, and although today there is a little more openness or tolerance to the subject, in the past occult practices were even seen as a threat to humanity.
These documentaries explore the harsh and sad reality in which people linked to witchcraft and occult practices lived, and how society would deal with these people…
Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages
A 1922 Danish silent film that covers occultism topics starting from black magic, satanism, and the persecution of witches during the middle-ages, making a connection between the ancient and the study of hysteria in the 1920s. As a silent movie, emotions, and actions are superbly conveyed by the actors, and the plot been structured in several chapters:
The first giving a historical account of witchcraft’s origins in literature and illustrations; the second chapter presented with drama plays about the practice of witches and their persecution; the third chapter shows several instances of the devil manifesting and making demands on his followers; and reaching the final chapter Christensen attempts to make a correlation between the acts, mannerisms, and various disfigurements anciently attributed to witches and their craft, and the modern effects of hysteria.
Canadian documentary about the witchcraft trials & persecutions that happened all around Europe during the 15th-17th centuries, a period when those accused of being heretics or witches were doomed to die often by fire. The Burning Times include interviews with feminist and Neopagan notables such as Starhawk and Matthew Fox taking an in-depth look at the witch hunts, the false accusations, and trials that led to massive torture and executions. An interesting approach to many questions such as whether the widespread violence against women and the neglect of our environment today can be traced back to those times.
Rasputin: The Devil in the Flesh
The Life and Death of Grigori Efimovich Rasputin: a Siberian peasant was able to infiltrate the hierarchy of Russian society. Rasputin had a calculated rise to the point where he was practically running the country, how? This documentary follows his path, told by lecturers, professors, and occult historians covering topics such as the superstitions from society, royalty, class politics, mysticism, the social climate from St Petersburg, and how Rasputin had an impact on it.
Experts share their opinions along with what society thought of Rasputin: to some contributors he was a holy man seeking a pure connection with a divine spirit and to others he was a power-crazed demon who got his ways with several women. The film addresses some of the most famous myths linked to Rasputin, as it was said that he had some unexplained powers of healing.
Aleister Crowley: The Wickedest Man in the World
As some may know who Aleister Crowley is, he was proclaimed «the wickedest man in the world» and labeled as a Satanist by the popular press. This documentary is an attempt to rationalize the behavior of a particularly horrific human being: English occultist Aleister Crowley. An interesting approach to the life of this man, from a psychological standpoint, explaining how Crowley saw himself and how he used this self-image to manipulate other people. The film covers some of the atrocious things that Aleister Crowley did and the evilness that happened during his practices.
Which of these documentaries would you like to see first?