The Spectre Watches Over Her
A reaction to the groundbreaking text by Swiss anthropologist Paul Wirz entitled “Exorcism and the Art of Healing in Ceylon,” this silent and hand processed film considers a history of colonialism and ethnographic practices in South Asia. At his mother’s village, Samarasinghe restaged an exorcism once performed on her in the early 1960s when she was a little girl. Possessed by the lecherous entity known as the Kalu Kumara, the Sanni Yakuma healing ritual was performed over a 12-hour period.
Rajee Samarasinghe (1988, Sri Lanka) is a filmmaker based in the United States. His work tackles contemporary sociopolitical conditions in Sri Lanka through the scope of his own identity and the deconstruction of ethnographic practices. His debut feature, Your Touch Makes Others Invisible, is inspired by his childhood experiences during the Sri Lankan civil war. It received a Sundance Documentary Fund grant in 2019, was invited to Berlinale Talents’ Doc Station, as well as True/False Film Festival’s inaugural PRISM program in 2020. He was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2020. Rajee’s work has been exhibited at venues internationally including the Tiger Short Competition at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, New Directors/New Films presented by Film Society of Lincoln Center & MoMA, BFI London Film Festival, FIDMarseille, Festival du nouveau cinéma, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, among others.
Rajee Samarasinghe’s film everyday star screened at BFMAF 2019.
Show Me Other Places (2021), Misery Next Time (2021), the past (2021), Gimhanaye Netra (The Eyes of Summer, 2020) Jeevithaye Mayawa (Imitation of Life, 2020), Untitled (2019), everyday star (2018), Piṭuvahalayā (The Exile, 2018), YI XIANG JU SUO (Foreign Quarters, 2017), The Spectre Watches Over Her (2016), If I Were Any Further Away I’d Be Closer to Home (2016), An Appearance of Fortitude (2015), black widow summer set (2015), The Queen of Material (2014), Untitled (Horse) (2014), 01.39411.999 (2012)