More films

On Chinese ritual and rural life, in stark contrast to the substantial body of silent written work published, few films are available.

Still for Yanggao county, the DVD Doing things with my 2007 book Ritual and music of north China: shawm bands in Shanxi (Aldershot: Ashgate) provides general background; in two sections, funerals and temple fairs, it shows the diverse performance activities at these events, with the Li family making cameo appearances.

Two excellent films on Daoist ritual in south China are

  • Kenneth Dean, Bored in heaven (2010), and
  • Patrice Fava, Han Xin’s revenge (2005). Among his other films (mainly here), for temple fairs in Taiwan see Mazu la déeese de la mer, réalité d’une légende (1995).

See also

Ethnographic films on the Chinese ethnic minorities are more common, including

Casting our net wider, see

A wealth of unedited, undocumented, video clips appear on various Chinese sites—more on that story later

Beyond China, while you’re watching my film on vimeo, do check out Michele Banal’s other films on that site, and the brilliant series Growing into Music. One of the most impressive documentary series was Rito y geografia del cante, which I’ve used extensively in my series on flamenco. And for a thorough list on visual anthropology, see this site from Barley Norton, including the films of John Baily.

In the sidebar, the unwieldy film tag comprises all kinds of films—including some fine documentaries about regional ritual cultures, such as the NavajoSardinia and Morocco; the Yazidis and Kurds.

Further suggestions welcome!