Jathilan: Trance and Possession in Java

The terrifying power dance of Java

Jathilan is an ancient Javanese folk dance in which a group of dancers become possessed by spirits and engage in a range of self-mortification behaviors. After emerging from their altered state they are left with no memory of the event.

Jathilan: Trance and Possession in Java, combines footage of a number of Jathilan performances with interviews with dancers, spiritual leaders, anthropologists, and enthusiasts. This extraordinary practice becomes more than just spectacle as Jathilan is contextualized within broader processes of Indonesian historical, political and social change.

27 min

Director: Robert Lemelson
Producer: Robert Lemelson, Alessandra Pasquino
Director of Photography: Wing Ko, Dag Yngvesson
Editor: Wing Ko
Music Composer: Malcolm Cross

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