Under A Pagan Sky

57 Minute documentary


Writer/ Editor/ Director: Helen Browning
EP: Rachel Clements
Producers: James Bradley, Helen Browning
Agency executive: Sebastian Angborn
DOP: Tim Alewood
Additional cinematography: Helen Carter

Angela Cerasi colour graded this documentary about Australian Pagans for Northern Territory director Helen Browning.  The Director of Photography was Tim Alewood.

The documentary examines the private rituals and celebrations of Australians recreating Pagan traditions for the southern hemisphere and in a contemporary world.  Together they face the seasonal challenges and spiritual boundaries of nature worship in a vast continent, at a crucial time in environmental history.

In a time when Western culture has lost its sense of transcendence, dramatic rituals celebrating the turning of the seasons, and the mysteries of sex, death and human existence, provide deeply meaningful experiences to Pagans in Australia. However, there are substantial challenges in applying nature-based religions that developed in the Northern Hemisphere. Australia is a vast continent with distinctly different seasons and ecosystems to the northern hemisphere. It is Aboriginal sacred country and some Elders believe that certain Pagan ritual practices can disrupt the song lines.

This review credits the film with the colossal strength of its refusal to sensationalise its subject matter and to demonstrate beyond doubt that paganism is a serious subculture worthy of attention.

The blog continues: The diversity of topics tackled by Under a Pagan Sky shows how deeply eclectic esotericism is in Australia. The film also looks at how different traditions interpret Aleister Crowley’s cryptic concept of magick. The different strands of paganism, which include new age groups, new witchcraft, folklore, as well as artists and musicians, are all brought together by the desire to be at one with nature. A druid ritual can be as simple as taking a walk in the bush or yes, surfing. The community is engaged in environmentalism in a big way, supporting rallies against the destruction of the forests and effects of climate change, clearly seen in the scorched woodland of New South Wales.

To see another documentary colour graded by Angela from a Northern Territory director, check out this trailer and stills for “Democracy, Darling”.