I Was a Spiritual Medium

Young, powerless princesses grew up in despair, neglected and abused by their own families. Yearning for power and control over their lives, they enter into the world of magic and spirits. Witchcraft promises them with more than what they have—an escape from cruelty or life in a different world. This power to manipulate reality, however, seems to be at odds with finding their true love. Knights in shining armor suddenly arrive and demand the princesses to make an impossible choice between feeling accepted and preserving their only means of control. 

  • Project Type:
    Experimental
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 26 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 1, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Female Filmmakers Festival Berlin
    Berlin
    Germany
    October 7, 2020
    German Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography

Yunjin La-mei Woo is a socially-engaged artist and a filmmaker. Born as the granddaughter of a Korean shaman, her artistic practice is informed by her research on how the notion of humanness intersects with issues of power, gender, class, and ethnicity. Her creative work ranges widely from experimental video to installation, performance, sculpture, writing, and participatory projects. Woo has extensively exhibited, screened, and published her creative work and research internationally. 

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Director Statement

In various discourses, women are portrayed to possess a natural affinity with the supernatural and witchcraft that go against the male-centered and colonial notions of religious authority, legitimacy, and purity. These fixed tales of patriarchal fantasy seem to accelerate their absorbing influence, especially when women seek power through channels that give them direct access to spiritual power without the mediation of male priests. It is all too common to find stories of women seeking mastery and self-possession of their life that end by showing how they are ultimately saved from spells and curses by paternal male saviors, whether they are princes or godly figures. When juxtaposed, such parables reveal their mirrored images. This video fuses the audio testimonies of women receiving redemption from Jesus by converting from witchcraft and the visual fairy tales of damned Disney princesses rescued by heroic men strangely, as these seemingly disparate discourses strangely coincide and resonate.