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Natpwe (le festin des esprits)

Natpwe (le festin des esprits)

Natpwe (le festin des esprits)

As from the first images, the spectator mingles with the crowd of pilgrims from the village of Taungbyon, in Myanmar, gathered like each year to honour the “Nat” spirits during this Natpwe. Both a musical and an ethnographic film, with its skilfully dated grain, this Feast of the Spirits takes place between processions and parades, drinking binges and trance, staging a colourful and disguised fauna.

Four dolls on a swing, pushed silently by an elderly woman: this shot encloses the film, giving it both its introduction and its conclusion. As though it were our magic word to the special space and time of the Nat spirit festival where all laws seem suspended except those specific to the ceremonies. This elderly woman could thus well be a man as the film is a constant echo of blurred boundaries between genders as well as between rhythms and itineraries. An exultation of cross-dressing that gains ground in the film in its very form: a “sketch” type structure creating the effect of endless repeatability, a play on speeds between slow and fast motion, short focal lengths threatening the Euclidian representations of sites or faces, the musical logic of silent movies, and that powdery black and white - contrasted – that discourages any precise dating. Natpwe thus offers itself up as a spatial-temporal enclave where, through passages and transgressions, the stupor of trance is to be achieved.

Source : Mathieu Capel

Natpwe (le festin des esprits)

Artistic direction / Conception : Jean Dubrel, Tiane Doan na Champassak

Production / Coproduction of the video work : T. Doan na Champassak, J. Dubrel

Duration : 31'

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