EL NAZA: THE BLACK CHRIST OF PORTOBELO
In 1997 while a student at Spelman College, I was introduced to an art professor that did a presentation about a magical Saint in Panama called the Black Christ. The professor, Arturo Lindsay spoke of the annual festival that was held in his honor and the vivid robes and altars that many of the Saint’s devotees would carry. I was immediately intrigued and wondered how I might one day encounter this miraculous Saint. Almost 7 years later, I decided to make the trip and I brought my camera. The film El Naza: The Black Christ of Portobello was what came out of my journey.
In a small rural town by the sea, far removed from the hustle and bustle of the big urban city that surrounds it, people gather every year performing rituals and giving offerings to a mesmerizing Black Christ statue. The short documentary follows the journey of one man, Arturo Lindsay, as he reflects on how he came to learn of the festival, his observations, and a miraculous and unexplainable healing that occurred in his life as a result of his full participation in the festival.