Original Documentary

Pilgrimage to Miao Feng Shan

Sidney D. Gamble: Pilgrimage to Miao Feng Shan
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Introductory text by The China Institute in NY: Between 1924-1927, Sidney D. Gamble made three trips to Miao Feng Shan (Marvelous Peak Mountain), a popular Daoist pilgrimage site. Dedicated to the worship of the Goddess Bi Xia Yun Jun (Princess of the Clouds Before Dawn), the temple was located on a hill about 25 miles northwest of Beijing. Most worshippers made the arduous three-day journey in the spring. Pilgrims went either in groups organized by guilds or temple societies, or on their own as individual penitents. Although the primary purpose of the journey was religious, Gamble's visual record illustrates that these pilgrimages also served a lively social function. Upon his return to America, Gamble edited the footage shot on one of his trips into a short 16mm documentary. We have re-edited his film slightly, retaining his original titles, and adding music.
In 1989, Pilgrimage to Miao Feng Shan was re-edited and a film score of traditional music arranged by Tan Dun was added. The film accompanied the first exhibit of Sidney Gamble's photographs China between Revolutions: The Sidney D. Gamble Photographs 1917-1932.
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