Film Screening: Ceremony

January 14, Thursday, 7 p.m.

“It took some years until [the shamans] let me see a ceremony, and then a little bit more until they let me shoot the ceremony,” says fimmaker Sas Carey.

A project ten years in the making, Ceremony sheds light on the mysterious spiritual life of shamans in northern Mongolia, specifically focusing on one particular ceremony that few outsiders have ever witnessed, let alone filmed. Carey, a nurse from Vermont, spent over a decade with the shamans and nomads in the Mongolian steppe, working with Nomadicare, a group that provides medical care to the people of the region. After many years, the shamans allowed Carey to film their ceremony, wherein a shaman slips into a trance and takes on a spirit being. The shaman and others provide commentary on the events during the documentary to help viewers comprehend this mysterious phenomenon.

“Their system is thousands and thousands of years old,” says Carey. “It’s very powerful. They just allow their souls to leave their bodies. They’re just like shells that are accepting their ancestors’ spirits, and they start acting like something else. In the movie, a shaman named Nergui starts howling like a wolf. It’s like the energy of the wolf is in his body.”

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker.

ADMISSION: $5 at the door, free for BMAC members

Watch a trailer for Ceremony here.