An acclaimed insight into the revolutionary potentials and personal dangers involved in video reportage. Filmmaker Anders Østergaard takes us behind the official headlines in Burma to brings us close to the country’s video journalists who keeping up the flow of news from within the borders despite risking torture and life in jail. Armed with small handycams they make their undercover reports, and smuggle the material out of the country to be broadcast back into Burma via satellite or offered to the international media for free.
The footage shot by these brave activists keeps the revolution alive.
|Running Time:||56 min.|
|Subject(s):||Asian Studies, Conflicts, Creative, Human Rights, Investigative Journalism, Media, Politics, Society|
|Cinematographer:||Simon Plum, The Burmese VJs|
|Editor(s):||Janus Billeskov-Jansen, Thomas Papapetros|
|Production Company:||Magic Hour Films|
On the surface, this film can be easily accessed and understood as a documentary to serve an urgent need. On a more personal level, however, it is also an investigation – and a celebration – of the nature of documentarism. In the beginning of making this film, our main character had no hope of change in sight, yet he could not stop his urge to take up his camera and shoot, because it made him feel alive and added meaning to his world. Yet he had no reason to believe that his video reports would make any considerable difference.
That all changed during the great uprising in Burma in September 2007. The uprising was a tragedy by all standards. After a few days of hope and ecstasy, a few days of killing followed, and the generals got back in control as they always have before. Yet, in one respect the uprising marked a remarkable progress – simply because we know about it. We saw the monks and the hundreds of thousands of civilians taking to the streets to free themselves from the fear and repression. We saw them paying the price.
Thus, after decades of oblivion, Burma was rediscovered by the world. And by and large, we owe this to just a handful of Burmese citizens who seized the moment and put their cameras to work with ingenuity and immense courage. To watch their selfless struggle makes you humble and it makes you want to let the world know about them.
This is my attempt at just that.