Friends in High Places - the Art of Survival in Modern Day Burma
The film reveals the central role of nats and spirit mediums in alleviating the day burdens of modern Burmese life.
Whether contending with a deceitful daughter-in-law, forecasting prospects for a tea shop, or freeing a husband from government detainment, Friends in high Places reveals the central role of nats and spirit mediums in modern Burmese life. Just as nats lie somewhere on the spectrum between mortals and the divine, the gay men who serve as primary conduits for the nat spirits are considered to be neither male mediums profiled in this film ranging from the gentle, melancholy Lady Silver Wings ti the hard drinking , ego-driven Mr. Famous, illustrate the special niche granted to gay men in Burmese society.
Exquisite footage accentuates Lindsey Merrison's keen eye for nuance as she takes the viewer in a journey examining the extremes that define Burmese spirit mediums and their way if life. Deceit and artistry, tragedy and comedy, faith and cynicism in a country known both as a 2500 year bastion of Buddhism and more recently for its legacy of political corruption ans instability, the world of the nat becomes an analogy for the many unusual juxtapositions within Burma itself.