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PHOTO: ANTONIO SCORZA/AFP/Getty Images

Be honest now - when you spill salt, do you throw some over your shoulder? Do you knock on wood when you want something good to happen or blow out birthday candles after making a wish? What about stepping on sidewalk cracks, killing spiders, and opening an umbrella indoors? How do you feel about Friday the 13th?

Read a review of this film by the Globe and Mail's John Doyle.

This film will delve into the fascinating world of superstition, travelling the world to explore myriad superstitions, learning about their origins, and above all, discovering what they tell us about ourselves.

We live in the most scientifically and technologically advanced time in all of history. Yet we are more superstitious than ever. Multi-million dollar skyscrapers are designed in consultation with feng shui experts, and 80% of all buildings lack a thirteenth floor. Stock markets consistently go down when there is an eclipse, and there is now an investment fund which buys and sells solely guided by superstitious beliefs.

Almost no one is immune. Athletes, architects, actors, fishermen, even politicians and scientists – all can be captive to complex superstitions, convinced that their success depends upon carrying out these precise rituals. We know it makes no sense, but the instinct is so deeply ingrained that we cannot help ourselves.

New studies are starting to shed light on why we are superstitious: because it works. Psychologists argue that superstition is good - it helps us deal with life, and scientists say it’s hard-wired into our brains.

As we move through this world of irrational beliefs, we will meet skeptics and believers,
experts and ordinary people. Whether we view superstition as a waste of time or even harmful, or embrace it as a positive force to help us get through our lives, one thing seems clear: to believe in superstition does not make you stupid, ignorant or crazy. It makes you human.
 

Credits (Click to expand)

CBC.ca

Producer
Annette Bradford

Associate Producer
Robert Ballantyne
Olena Sullivan

CBC-TV

Directed by
ADRIAN WILLS

Produced by
KENNETH HIRSCH

 

Narrator
ANN-MARIE MacDONALD

Writer, Researcher & Associate Producer
TOM PUCHNIAK

Director of Photography
MARIO JANELLE

Editor
CHANTAL LUSSIER

Music Composer
ANTOINE BUSTROS

Script Consultant
GARY LANG

Executive Producer
KENNETH HIRSCH

Studio Administrator
LAURA FRANCIS

Production Coordinators
GIULIA FRATI
AGATA DE SANTIS

Additional Camera
GLAUCO BERMUDEZ
CARLA CLARKE
ALAIN JULFAYAN

First Assistant Camera
CARLA CLARKE
DEREK BRANSCOMBE

Sound Recordists
MARCO FANIA
CHRIS MONTGOMERY
ERIC LAU
SCOTT YATES
PEDRO ESCARCEGA
SYLVAIN VARY

Art Directors / Costume Design
GENEVIÈVE HUOT
ALAIN GONZALEZ
MIREILLE COUTURE

Gaffers
JACQUES GIRARD
DAVE MAGNAN

Visual Researchers
TOM PUCHNIAK
LAURA FRANCIS

Visual Effects
VINCENT SCOTTI

Post-production Coordinator
ISABELLE NADEAU

Online Editor
FRANÇOIS CORBEIL

Colour Designer
MARC LUSSIER

Supervising Sound Editor
STEVE GURMAN M.P.S.E.

Dialogue / ADR Supervisor
FRANÇOIS MAURICE

Sound Effects Editor
CORY RIZOS

Re-recording Mixer
ROGER GUÉRIN M.P.S.E. / C.A.S.


Archival Material

©iStockphoto.com
Alejandro Berger / Footage Search
AP Archive
Hong Kong Tourism Board
i-CABLE News Limited
John Whittier / Footage Search
Radio-Canada
NASA
NBC Universal Archives
NHL Network
Shutterstock, Inc., Used by Permission
T3Media

The B.F. Skinner Foundation/
From the collection of the Harvard Film Archive

AP Photo/ Dave Parker

Domenic Gareri / Shutterstock.com
Holbox/ Shutterstock.com

Larry Busacca/ Getty Images Entertainment/
Getty Images

Los Alamos National Laboratory/
James Rickman

Paul Gilham / Getty Images Sport/
Getty Images


IndyCar footage contained in this programming
is owned by Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC.,
Indy  Racing League, LLC, or their affiliates,
provided by IMS Productions,
and is used under license. All rights reserved.


Special Thanks

Allan Memorial Institute- MUHC
Kartomania
National Theatre School
R&J Restaurant
St-Lawrence School
Vista Court, Long Island City

Produced  by 
pma documentaries

In association with the
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

©2013 PMA Documentaries Inc.


For Doc Zone

Packaging Editor
MICHAEL READMAN

Associate Producer
GRIFFIN ONDAATJE

Unit Manager
SIBEL SAUNDERS

Associate Director
PETER LEE

Presentation Producer
DAVID GIDDENS

Senior Producer
LINDA LAUGHLIN

Executive Producer
Doc Zone
MICHAEL CLAYDON

Executive Director
Documentary Programming
MARK STAROWICZ

 

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