Saturday May 26, 20:00, kleine zaal

The Last Bissu: Sacred Transvestites of Sureq Galigo

The Last Bissu: Sacred Transvestites of Sureq Galigo by Rhoda Grauer tells the life story of Puang Matoa Saidi, the high priest of an ancient Indonesian transvestite order known as Bissus who preside over the pre-Islamic religion associated with Sureq Galigo. Puang Matoa Saidi is a member of the I La Galigo caste. Once all powerful, the bissus’ gradual demise began as the system of royal courts declined and government forces, intolerant of unorthodox religious beliefs and transvestite behaviour, nearly annihilated them. Once numbered in the hundreds, the sect itself seems close to extinction. Saidi, the head of an almost dead religion searches for the next generation of sacred transvestites to carry on his tradition.
Rhoda Grauer, Indonesia, 2005, documentary, 57’ in Indonesian with English Subtitles