Zum Film: Author: Helene Basu, Camera: Philipp Offermann and Helene Basu,

editing: Angelika Schlöndorff, Andreas Samland, Helene Basu
subtitles translations | Basant Srivastav and Vasudeo Paralikar

Zum Thema

> Drugs and Prayers
The Sufi shrine of Mira Datar in North Gujarat is a large pilgrimage centre specialising in healing possession madness/mental illness. Recently, it has also become a site of experimenting with new forms of community care in the mental health sector. The NGO ‘Altruist’ facilitates com- munication between the mental health department, shrine dignitaries, psychiatrists and patients suffering from diverse kinds of mental troubles who seek help from the saint. Under the heading of “Dava & Dua” Altruist promotes psychiatric services at the shrine parallel to the cures of possession illnesses offered by ritual specialists.
The film documents exchanges between different actors at the shrine (patients-psychiatrists, psychiatrists-ritual specialists, patients-ritual specialists), listens to the stories of afflicted persons and presents diverse views on the presumed causes of mental illness as well on the benefit or non-benefit of medicine and/or ritual practices as perceived by patients and their relatives.