Beyond the Human: Spirits

Path of Destiny

Yang Chun-Kai

Path of Destiny is a documentary about a group of Sikawasay from the Amis tribe of Hualien, Taiwan, known as the people who possess gods. This fate calls upon them to maintain traditional rituals to serve the tribe, living by way of interaction with the gods. We followed Panay Mulu, who has been with them for more than 20 years, to try to record the traditional rituals that are about to disappear, and also capture stories of their unique life. In the end, Panay Mulu felt that the gods had also guided her to face her own “path of destiny.”

Read a review of this film.

Gonya: The Shaman’s Day Out

Choi Haklak

This film depicts the Gonya festival among the Tamang ethnic group in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal. The celebration for Gonya revolves around the performance of the bonbo, an equivalent for the more universal term “shaman” in Tamang culture. The film consists of three parts: The first part shows how the Gonya is incorporated within the overarching tradition of Janai Purnima, a Hindu religious festival, and the way it is celebrated locally in a unique collaboration involving shamans. The second part shows how shamanistic beliefs are experienced and maintained communally by focusing on a young shaman and his family holding a small ritual in a village during the Gonya. The third part follows a group of shamans led by one master shaman on the Gonya day, and demonstrates how they create a “collective effervescence” in this religious festival.

Miracle

Lu Rou-shiuan

In the day he is a delivery driver for a factory, but on dates that ends with 3, 6, or 9, he exchanges his dirty work clothes for a mottled apron with a delicate yellow dragon. The apron is like a mission that carries on the last wishes of his late father. Taking over the mantle of his father, he becomes a psychic. He must encounter all kinds of issues, which include joy, sadness, sickness, and even death. Moreover, he faces the dilemmas and helplessness of other people. We want to know how he can find a way of life for those believers, and how he can strike a balance between being himself and a psychic.

Revive

Gui Shuzhong

Fengshui is to say using winds to gain water. The earth is mother, and burial brings peace to the deceased, symbolizing reincarnation. So the name of this story in English is “Revive,” which means getting into the cycle of reincarnation.