DER Documentary

Balinese Requiem


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by Yasuhiro Omori
produced in association with the National Museum of Ethnology, Japan
color, 63 min, 1992





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In a Balinese village, families go to great trouble and expense for their extravagant cremation ceremony. They provide special foods to mourners and prepare a bounty of offerings for the deceased, from gifts of money to symbolic baskets. The atmosphere is almost festive as a shadow puppet show is performed for the entertainment of the deceased, inheritances are distributed, and musical processions of mourners walk the streets. Dead family members seem almost present as their bones are uncovered, washed, and arranged for cremation with accompanying prayer rites. During the cremation, the village is filled with smoke from enormous burning pyres shaped like bulls, as the souls of the dead are cleansed of impurity and then sent out to sea so that they may continue their journey to heaven. Shot in 16mm, the film documents and explains the intricacies of these funeral rites and Balinese-Hindu beliefs about death.

This film is also available as part of the Five Films by Yasuhiro Omori collection.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Parnu International Film Festival, Estonia, 1994

Related Films
Ngaben: Emotion and Restraint in a Balinese Heart
A Balinese Trance Seance
Seven Young Gods of Fortune: Fertility Rite of Dosojin
A Shamanic Medium of Tsugaru
The Sons of Eboshi
Taki Kudo, Shamanic Medium of Tsugaru



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