The War on Sorcery

Story by Rachel Greco

Sorcery chokes numerous parts of Papua New Guinea, negatively effecting many people. The Kamano-Kafe Bible translation team has recently written and filmed a sorcery movie with the encouragement of a local member of parliament to help fight this evil.

Kossack, a member of the Kamano-Kafe team, wrote the sorcery movie script based on the death of his mother-in-law’s, Afuri’s, husband in a surprise village attack over sorcery accusations. When he was running away from his attackers, he was shot in the back with an arrow. He fell over a ditch, protecting his young son under his dying body.

In the aftermath of the raid, when Afuri returned to her village looking for her family, she found her son alive, hiding in the ditch under her husband’s body. The movie shows their suffering through flash-back scenes told by her grown son. He tells the story, including the sorcerer’s trickery, to his sons, challenging them to stop the group of young men who are stirring up another village fight over new sorcery accusations following another villager’s death.

“We are in a war to save lives,” Rich Mattocks, the Kamano team’s language advisor, said. “As we made multiple trips to filming locations, we drove past a newly burned-down house where the occupant had been accused of doing sorcery. He was murdered less than two weeks before we started filming in May.”

After the Kamano team watched both the Kamano-Kafe and the Tok Pisin draft version of the movie, they asked older villagers to see the film. One of the older men could not stop talking about how good it was and that it was going to, “pull the pants down on the men doing this sorcery practice.” The cultural translation of this word picture is that the video is going to expose and shame these men, thus stopping them from what they are doing.

The team also showed the draft version to fourteen people from six different languages around Papua New Guinea. Most of them were in tears and said their people will understand it. They wanted their own copies…to start showing it NOW!

As Rich said, “Sorcery is an epidemic. We have seen film have a large impact on education for the AIDS epidemic, and hope that God will bless this film to have a large impact on sorcery.”



The film has been released in the Kamano-Kafe language and has already contributed to the saving of one life.  It is in the process of being translated into Tok Pisin to be released soon.  An English translation is being considered.


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