Hi! We are a group of passionate filmmakers from Lasalle College of the Arts working on our final year thesis documentary short film. We are trying to rediscover the Chinese culture that is not very popular these days. However, in order to achieve good results, we need your help to make that happen.
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May the Shadows Burn Again is a documentary about how Mr Yang, a puppeteer, undertakes the task of performing a ritual play called 目连救母 (Mulian Saves His Mother) for the first time in three years in order to calm the spirits of the dead.
As a child, I have always been fascinated with religious activities. Every year, these large ceremonies with countless people coming together to show their determination to keep culture and tradition alive. At that time, there was no social media or Internet to let us know what was happening on the ground. During festive celebrations, I often noticed Chinese puppet shows being performed for the gods.
As we grow older, Chinese religious events are getting less and less common. The puppeteers are getting older and older. The younger generations are slowly drifting away from this culture as it no longer interests them. They do not see the spirit and harmony of those that came before.
I chose to focus on the story of 目连救母 (Mulian Rescues His Mother), which was found in the Buddhist sutra about a son who tries to rescue his mother from hell in an act of absolute filial piety. The last local puppet performance of this story was last shown three years ago. In the future, this film about mysticism and folklore will also serve as a historical document of this dying art form.
Director: Gavin Chua
Producer: Chui Lei
Director of Photography: Joshua Chua
Sound Recordist: Kendrick Quah
Editor: Emma-Jane Fernandez