Jathilan: Trance and Possession in Java

The terrifying power dance of Java (27 min)


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.




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