Li Manshan (Portrait of a Folk Daoist) – Film Screening

Credit Stephen Jones

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This intimate portrait film explores the life of eighth-generation household Daoist Li Manshan

Li Manshan (born 1946), is leader of a group of ritual specialists in the poor countryside of Yanggao county in north Shanxi, China. The film's director, Stephen Jones will introduce the film and take part in a Q&A after the screening.

Using footage mainly from the period since 2011 but also from as far back as 1987, the film shows both Li Manshan’s funerary practice as leader of his ritual group and his solo activities: determining the date for the burial, decorating coffins, and even his work in the fields. We are led into the vocal liturgy, percussion, and melodic instrumental music of their magnificent funeral rituals, learning how ritual practice has changed since the 1930s and even since the 1990s, under challenges such as migration, the modern education system, and the competition at funerals from pop music.

Complementing Stephen's book Daoist Priests of the Li family: Ritual Life in Village China (Three Pines Press, 2016), this moving portrait of the diverse activities of Li Manshan and his group serving their local community in a rapidly changing rural China will fascinate anthropologists, scholars of Daoism and folk religion, world-music aficionados, and all those interested in Chinese society.

Image: Li Manshan, by Stephen Jones


Name: Li Manshan (Portrait of a Folk Daoist) – Film Screening
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £8.00
Member: £8.00
Senior 60+: £6.00
Student: £5.00
Registered Unemployed: £5.00
Under 18: £5.00
Friend of the British Library: £8.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546