Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Ganster's God

The Gangster's God 炸神明
Release: 2006
Genre: Documentary
Director: Ho Chao-ti
Total Running Time: 49 min
Original music by Chen Guan-yu and the Hohak Band

At every Lantern Festival in Taidong, a group of men strips bare above the waist, and wearing nothing but red shorts, stands on a sacred palanquin, allowing people to pound their bodies with bottle rockets, singeing their skin. They are believed to be human incarnations of the god Handan. The “Scorching of Handan” has in recent years become a major event in eastern Taiwan. Those who take part in the ritual have always been shrouded in mystery, and rumored to be members of the gangster underworld. The documentary 《The Gangster’s God》 enters the heart of these men’s universe, recording their dramatic lives.