This emotionally powerful film constantly treads the boundaries between past and present, and between life and death. Director Hui-Chen Huang slowly reveals her mother’s story in this elegantly paced documentary.
The priestess, Anu Hong, has guided souls to the afterlife in ceremonies for many years, but has been unable to put her own painful past to bed; a struggle shared by her daughter. In a series of intimate interviews, Anu reveals the joy and the pain of living as an openly lesbian woman in Taiwan, and specifically in a family that struggle to understand and accept her. In an attempt to help her mother achieve the salvation that she has helped so many others to reach, Hui-Chen bravely reopens the past and finally confesses a dark secret that has weighed on her for decades.
In a film that is delicate in its stillness, we are given a genuine insight into an immensely complex individual and into the relationship between a mother and daughter who have spent years separated by the chasm of their painful past. Bittersweet and beautifully realised, The Priestess will absorb you into another world, and leave you utterly moved.
Screens with 58 minute film Irrawaddy Mon Amour