The Land of the Wu 巫

Shamans, Buddhists, and Other Womyn Mystics

Manshin (2013) ☆☆☆1/2(3.5/4) : A shaman with ten thousands spirits

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Seongyong's Private Place

manshin03 South Korean documentary “Manshin” vividly presents the cultural value in Korean shamanic rituals through its haunting images which lingered on my mind for a long time after watching it. Looking around the long, dramatic life story of a woman who has persistently adhered to her ‘destiny’ and craft, the documentary beautifully dances around archival footage, interviews, and recreated personal moments, and its gorgeous dance ultimately comes to us as a vivid, uncanny incantation to draw us into the folk tradition worthwhile to observe and value.

Its subject is an 82-year-old shaman named Kim Geum-hwa, who was officially recognized as a national treasure after enduring so much oppression upon her and her craft for many years. Born in 1931 in a small town of Hwanghea-do area which now belongs to North Korea, she was destined to become an outsider even when she was very young. Besides being an unwelcomed child right…

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