Nat Pwe: Burma's Carnival of Spirit Soul | Chicago Reader

Nat Pwe: Burma's Carnival of Spirit Soul

Richard Bishop (bassist for the Sun City Girls) and Robert Millis shot this 2003 digital video documenting a wild ritual that's held annually in the Burmese village of Taungbyon. Honoring spirits called “nats,” transvestites in colorful robes and headdresses guzzle Johnny Walker Red and dance wildly to hypnotic vocals and percussion. Punctuating these performances are impromptu dancing by inebriated festivalgoers and close-ups of beautiful women and children strolling the grounds. The absence of narration or cultural context leaves the viewer to guess what any of this might mean. 88 min.

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