Ngaben: Emotion and Restraint in a Balinese Heart

Nyoman has waited ten years to cremate his father (16 min)


According to Balinese Hindu beliefs, the cremation ceremony, or ngaben, is one of the most important steps in a person’s spiritual life. It is through cremation that the soul is released from the body to ascend to heaven to be reincarnated.

Ngaben: Emotion and Restraint in a Balinese Heart takes an impressionistic look at the ngaben from the perspective of a mourning son, Nyoman Asub, and reveals the intimacy, sadness, and tenderness at the core of this funerary ritual. Amidst ample historical, interpretive, and political takes on the cremation ceremony, the film provides a personal and poetic glimpse of the exquisite cultural tradition and the complex emotions involved.



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