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IN SEARCH OF THE SHAMAN

Pierre Boccanfuso | Philippines, France 2016 | 95 Min. | OmeU

Friday, 05.05.2017, 8 pm | tickets
Kino De France | Saal 1

AUSTRIAN PREMIERE

This film is nominated for the Excellence in Visual Anthropology Award (EVA).

 

In one of the last regions moved back by the Philippines, on the Palawan Island, Medsinu - healer and judge of common law - watches on his relatives often by calling upon his father's spirit, the former shaman. Indefatigably, he walk in the forest, of hamlet in hamlet, at the bedside of the sick. Caught up by the disease, Medsinu dies leaving behind everybody in the big despair of his. After its disappearance, an event comes to disrupt this peaceful Palawan's community. They try to manage through this rough change by meetings. At the same time, Issad's elder sister becomes ill. Desespered, Issad and his family ressearch in one of theirs someone abble to cure her. The lavished care show themselves ineffective. Rest worried by the health of her sister Issad. He and his close friends continue to look for a shaman to cure her. In one of the last remote forests of the Philippines on the island of Palawan, Medsinu an old shaman, traditional healer and spiritual guide is worrying about his own people’s survival. He feels his aura diminishing to the profit of missionaries of which he laughs about and mocks. He claims that, in the past, a pastor came into the forest, pretending to spread god’s word but in fact were more interested in tchatting up their young women. In his mind, spirits are worth fare more than any missionaries. Medsinu is resigned and guesses his people will be dragged down by dangers coming from the coast. He is expecting death as a liberation. When he died, Medsinu left behind him an orphan society. A deafening sound of bulldozers, backhoe machines, opening a track close to the Palawans’ huts. As they are frightened by those big machines the natives run away. During the rainy season the path is unusable. A foreign mining company is considering settling on Palawan land of which the earth abounds with nickel. An open cast mine means large scale deforestation a large use of chemical products, river pollution, a global and definitive destruction of the forest‘s natural resources. Without a shaman and having lost their bearings, facing modern intrusion from an outside world, the Palawan people feel like orphans. They are looking for a new shaman.