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New from Michael Wiese about Bali and the Spirit World
SPECIAL PREVIEW FOR MWP FANS
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In 1970 the young filmmaker Michael Wiese arrived in Bali and was taken to a remote village by a Balinese painting salesman. He became the first Westerner to live with the Balinese in this village participating in temple ceremonies, playing gamelan, painting, and seeing shadow plays. The longer he stayed, the more he realized that he was not really ‘seeing’ the world where the Balinese lived. In that world, the Balinese spend half their life participating in elaborate rituals and ceremonies evoking the spirits of the ancestors and honoring countless spirits deities – both gods and demons – who influence our world.
Michael wanted to learn more about these dimensions awash with spirits and powerful entities so common in Bali but unheard of in the Western world, but after 40 years and many visits, little progress was made. Then, a breakthrough occurred. Bali yielded its secrets as trance dancers, mediums, shadow masters, priests and healers revealed the spiritual practices and portals to these sacred dimensions.
The result – a filmic treasure with many never-before-seen moments that makes us question everything we know about the nature of reality, consciousness and the source of creativity and inspiration.
Interview with Michael Wiese by Geneva Anderson on ARThound . . .
Filmmaker Michael Wiese visited Bali in the 1970′s and was led to a remote village by a Balinese salesman. As he participated in elaborate ceremonies, he realized he did not really see the world as the Balinese saw it. Now, 40 years later and many visits between, his new documentary, Talking with Spirits, shows sequences that make us question everything we know about the nature of reality, consciousness, and the very sources of creativity and inspiration. Wiese’s film will be screening this Tuesday, at 2 p.m., at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco as part of their programming for Bali: Art, Ritual, Performance which runs through September 11, 2011. This weekend, I interviewed Michael Wiese who was at theAlbuquerque Film Festival, where his film had its West Coast premiere.
Talking with Sprits is billed as a documentary, which is a fairly broad category these days. What is it exactly?
Michael Wiese: When I think of documentaries, I think most are intellectual ─ you know, a narrator talking over experiences ─ which this is not. This film guides you and lets you have your own experience. The unseen world by its very nature is very is hard to capture. I am making a film about things that cannot be filmed.
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