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Dancing with the Spirits (2023)

Dancing with the Spirits

A marionette master misses the magic that comes from performing with a live audience


Marionette master U Sein Aye Myint has practised his art for more than forty years, continuing the traditional skills passed down from his father. But the Covid pandemic and the military coup have prevented him and his puppets from performing. When the roof of his small workshop in Yangon’s North Dagon starts leaking in the monsoon, he has to clamber up to fix it himself to ensure his beloved puppets do not get wet. Observing him with age-old wisdom in their eyes, his puppets seem to sense all the things that are weighing heavily on his mind: his lack of income, precarious future – and just how much he misses his audience.

Director's Biography

Mi Ni Ni Aung (30) lives on Bilu Island in the Gulf of Martaban in Myanmar’s Mon State. After graduating from Mawlamyine University with a major in chemistry in 2014, she studied journalism at Burma News International (BNI) and subsequently worked as a digital producer for BBC Media Action and others until 2023. She enrolled at YFS in 2022 where she directed her first short documentary, Dancing with the Spirits. This film received its world premiere at the prestigious Jean Rouch International Film Festival in Paris, France. She has since made the documentaries Missing Home about the plight of women in IDP camps, and Will There Be A Tomorrow? about nurses tending to refugees in Karen State’s conflict zones. In 2023 she joined a YFS crew to film a short fiction film, A Story About Love. Black Lady Sings is her second YFS-produced documentary.


May, 2023
Festival International Jean Rouch
Paris, France
March, 2023
One Country One Film International Festival
World Premiere
Apchat, Issoire, France

Director's Filmography



Dancing with the Spirits




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