Ngaben: Emotion and Restraint in a Balinese Heart


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

Streaming on Vimeo on Demand

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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