The story behind the story

movie & TV August 30, 2018 15:45

By The Nation

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Following the success of “The Teenage Psychic”, HBO Asia’s award-winning Mandarin original drama series that premiered in 2017, the network has announced that production has begun for a new original documentary, “The World Behind the Teenage Psychic”.

The documentary is scheduled to premiere later this year on HBO Asia’s on-air, online and on-demand platforms.

“The World” is an HBO Asia original documentary that delves deeper into the traditions and culture on which the coming-of-age series is based. Filmed entirely in Taiwan, the hour-long Mandarin documentary explores some of the unique shamanistic practices that call Taiwan home and takes the audience on a journey through the rituals and beliefs surrounding the Ghost Month.

The Ghost Month is the pinnacle of the annual spiritual calendar in Taiwan – when the gates of hell are said to open, and spirits enter the world of the living. Weaving through the festivities, “The World” follows different characters to explore how a distinct blend of Taoist, Buddhist, Chinese Folklore and indigenous belief systems continue to flourish in modern Taiwan.

One of the characters in the documentary is award-winning Taiwanese actress and singer, Nana Lee who starred in “The Teenage Psychic”. Lee grew up surrounded by temple culture and beliefs. With her family having suffered the loss of a loved one, Lee visits her hometown of Nantou and reconnects with her past. Spanning worlds old and new, and having a direct link to the original “The Teenage Psychic” series, Lee’s unique perspective offers a personal account of how traditions of life and death survive in Taiwan today.

Throughout the documentary, followers and devotees share thoughts on why these practices are still relevant and a part of everyday life, while leading academics explain how and why spiritual belief remains so deeply-rooted into the modern fabric of the island.