Local woman’s film illuminates shamans’ mystery

MIDDLEBURY — “Ceremony,” local director Sas Carey’s documentary about the mysterious ways of the shamans in northern Mongolia, will be shown Sunday through Thursday, Oct. 4-8, at 7:30 p.m. each evening at the Marquis Theater in Middlebury. Carey will hold a Q&A session after each screening. In addition, she will be available for a pre-show meet-and-greet Sunday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the café.
“Ceremony” revolves around a specific ceremony in the steppes. Outside the viewer sees mists with reindeer emerging, smoke coming from  stovepipes through the poles of the Siberian tipis or urts, animals grazing on the steppe, and the moon in a clear sky. Inside is a mysterious ritual as a shaman slips into a trance around midnight when the stars come out. The master  shaman beats the drum, chants, dances and takes on the spirit. He then motions to his young shaman apprentice to begin playing a mouth harp. The viewer wonders if the  ceremony will heal a young boy who has come to be healed.
Many shamans were interviewed before and after the event, and as the ceremony progresses, the main shaman and others give commentaries to help the viewer.
“Ceremony” took 11 years to make. Carey, who has been traveling to Mongolia for over two decades, founded the nonprofit organization Nomadicare, whose mission is to document indigenous Mongolian culture and  support nomads’ health.
For more information, call Carey at 388-1301, email [email protected] or visit www.nomadicare.org.

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