That the truth can be so horrific is something that folks living in the lap of complacency (like me) can never ever grasp. No amount of Hollywood wizardry has been able to convey the absolute fear that this film managed to instill in not just me, but every viewer in the hall, I suspect, in that short 1and1/2 hours.
Last Thursday 16 July 2009, I had the good fortune of being able to attend the screening of ‘Burma VJ’ at Jubilee Hall, Raffles Hotel. This was followed by a video-conference Q&A with the director himself. According to the director, this movie-documentary will eventually go on TV after doing the cinematic rounds, followed by DVD release. I hope it will be region-free since it already has a place reserved on my shelf :).
This powerful film, though now doing the rounds in commercial cinemas first in the US, then UK and many other European nations, will apparently not be screened in any of the commercial cinemas in Singapore, much is the shame. The screening was made possible by the joint-effort of the The Embassy of Denmark and the Singapore Film Society.
So for those of us, so-called neighbours of Myanmar, who may not have a chance to see this film, please, at least take a look at the film’s website Burma VJ Official Website and help spread their message. For info, ‘VJ’ stands for ‘video journalist’.
Attached below is the film synopsis courtesy of the Singapore Film Society.
85 min, 2008, Denmark, NC16, Dir Anders Ostergaard
“This film BURMA VJ is comprised largely by material shot by undercover reporters in Burma. Some elements of the film have been reconstructed in close collaboration with the actual persons involved, just as some names, places, and other recognizable facts have been altered for security reasons and in order to protect individuals. ”
BURMA VJ by acclaimed director Anders Østergaard, brings us close to the courageous young citizens who live the essence of high-risk undercover journalism in military-suppressed Burma . For the first time, their raw, and at times uncoordinated, individual images have been carefully put together to tell a much bigger story to the outside world. Thoroughly documentating the historical and dramatic days of September 2007 when the Buddhist monks started marching, this compelling film further reveals the stark reality of the Burmese condition.
2009 Sundance Film Festival
2009 Full Frame Doc Festival
2008 Amsterdam, IDFA
and many others….