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Friends in High Places

Friends in High Places
Lindsey Merrison, Burma 2001, 89 Min., OV with English subs, digital

In Myanmar, where spirit worship has survived the triumph of Buddhism, colonial dictates and the vagaries of successive military regimes, a lively cult peopled by talented mediums, many of them gender fluid, makes life more bearable. Friends in High Places takes us on a journey into the “nat” cult and into the lives of several mediums—known as “nat kadaw.” Guided by two lively elderly female Burmese narrators, we enter an unknown world of moving stories, extravagant costumes, ecstatic music and flamboyant dance where we discover the unique role the spirit mediums play in Myanmar society.