The starting point of Inferno is the current construction of the third Temple of Solomon (Templo de Salmão) in São Paulo by a Brazilian Neo-Pentecostal Church, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG), founded in Rio de Janeiro in the late 1970s with millions of adherents in Brazil and internationally. Built to biblical specifications, this new temple will be a replica of the first temple in Jerusalem, the violent destruction of which signalled the diaspora of the Jewish people in the 6th century BCE. Inferno confronts this conflation of place, history, and belief, providing insight into the complex realities of Latin America that have given rise to the temple project. Shot and edited with stylistic references to Hollywood action epics, Bartana’s film employs what she refers to as “historical pre enactment,” a methodology that commingles fact and fiction, prophesy and history.
Yael Bartana, born in 1970 in Kfar-Yehezkel, Israel, lives and works in Amsterdam, Tel Aviv and Berlin.