Releasing the Spirits: A Village Cremation in Bali

Cremation rites are the most elaborate rites of passage performed by Balinese householders. Poor families may wait years before accumulating enough resources to cremate their dead, who are buried in the meantime. This film is about a group of villagers in Central Bali who cooperated to carry out a group cremation. It had been 15 years since they last held this ceremony. Most of the narration is provided by four participants, recorded as they were watching videotapes of the ceremonies two years later. Each brings a different perspective to the events documented on the film. The three voices of the filmmakers also provide different insights.

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43 minutes




Linda Connor

Linda Connor, an Australian anthropologist and renowned photographer, mainly researches on Indonesian traditional therapies and now works as the chief of the Department of Anthropology in Sydney University. The Asch couple had cooperated with Linda in shooting A Balinese Trance Séance and Releasing the Spirits: A Village Cremation in Bali, which unveil the Balinese Shamans.

Timothy Asch

Timothy Asch (1932-1994), Timothy Asch was born in 1932 in New York. Asch worked in various projects dedicated to the development of methods for the use of film in teaching and research, a subject on which he contributed many articles and conference papers. He co-founded Documentary Educational Resources in 1967, a non profit corporation.