Monday, July 25, 2011

Niño Fidencio: De Roma a Espinazo

As part of my research for the introduction to my translation of Francisco I. Madero's Spiritist Manual (forthcoming this November), I've been reading widely and watching documentaries about Spiritism in Mexico. One documentary I can recommend is the fascinating "Niño Fidencio: De Roma a Espinazo" which can be seen in its entirely, with English subtitles, at this link:

For anyone interested in Mexican spritism, this is a must-see, but even for those who are not, it provides a glimpse into the complexity and strangeness of Mexico, as well as the erosion of Catholic Church. The end of the film shows rare footage of Niño Fidencio being rolled over the top of a mosh pit and then, from on high, as a method of healing, pitching fruit at his followers.

For further reading, see Dore Gardner's Niño Fidencio: A Heart Thrown Open (University of New Mexico Press, 1999)

This is all very different from the more urban, Kardec-inspired Spiritism of Madero. But there are connections. More anon.