When I think of home
I remember the last
time I was there.
That was the year we
got running water, and
TV came to the island.
Shadow Master is a dramatic documentary about a family of performers in Bali. Directed by Larry Reed, and filmed by John Knoop, it was completed in 1981, and has aired on PBS and the Discovery Channel.
Shadow Master is an inside view of Balinese life which reveals the cultural context of theater, music, and dance on the island. It is a dramatization of events which occurred during the filming process and during the two years Reed spent living and studying with a dalang (shadow master) and his extended family. The actors in the film are all members of the family and co-creators of the story.
The film is narrated by the dalang's daughter as she remembers the summer before she left home, and the boy she left behind. He is an apprentice to her father and wants to become the shadow master for his generation. By contrast, his brother wants girls, motorcycles, and money. The film follows the two brothers as each attempts to realize his dream.
Quotes from the press:
The film is beautifully shot and well made.
- Karen Cooper
Everyone who saw Shadow Master here was fascinated.
- Robert Altman
Shadow Master is the best filmic material available on the Balinese shadow play...
- Kathy Foley
Asia Theater Journal
Shadow Master is a useful, inspiring film. I use it in class and enjoy it thoroughly each time it is shown.
- Judy Mitoma
World Arts and Culture
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