From Sri Lanka’s beginnings 2500-years-ago, the island was populated by tens of thousands of demons, some spreading disease and chronic afflictions through possession. These range the whole gamut—from headaches to infectious diseases to madness to barrenness. To be cured, the patient undergoes a devil dance—the most complex, dramatic exorcism in the world, in what is also the world’s largest mask culture. It’s an all-night healing ceremony involving masked dancers imitating disease causing demons. Anyone involved swears by its effectiveness. Although devil dances are rapidly fading in the face of globalization, and now are a staple at 5-star hotels, there are still traditional devil dance priests—Sri Lanka’s original doctors—who practice the ritual on a regular basis for the inflicted. It is nearly impossible to become a patient if you are not part of the sub-culture but Stroud has secured a place to be exactly that—the patient to be exorcized. No Westerner has ever before been filmed participating in this cultural tradition that throughout the millennium offered the only cause and cure for afflictions within their understanding. The survival methods post – Tsunami will also be explored – the famed ‘stick fishing’ where by Stroud will learn to build and stand and fish from a single pole over the oven. From the Devil Dancers on the coast of Sri Lanka Les travels to the interior to survive with a group of people who have only been living out of caves since the mid 80’s. The Vedas. And they too have their own form of crude Devil Dance.
With award winning, never before seen ceremonial and survival footage, Les Stroud crafted this stunningly beautiful and compelling series about connecting to the earth through survival and ancient ceremonies with indigenous cultures around the planet.