Thursday, November 12, 2009

VJ - Myanmar Through The Lens

Even though Myanmar is the official name of the country, but most Burmese still hold dear to the formal name of Burma.

Burma VJ - a touching documentary filmed by video journalists (VJ) who are ordinary citizens risking their lives to capture the events in their country. This is one of the few powerful documentaries screened over 2 evenings at Orchard Cineleisure to highlight the plight of the people in Burma.

These courageous VJs riskd torture and imprisonment to document the political turmoil in Sept 2007. They were armed with little more than small handy cams to capture dissent dramatic days when Buddhist monks together with ordinary citizens demonstrated. It is mind boggling to see the whole street and every building along the road filled with people cheering the monks marching by. Even the roofs of the buildings were lined with people. It is like after years of suppression, the lid has suddenly blown to let off steam.

Then tragic struck, the unarmed demonstrators were gunned down by the military. Many were rounded up and thrown into jails. Temples were ransacked and left eerily empty as all the monks were rounded up or killed. Blooded bodies of monks were seen floating down the river.

Some of the VJs died, others jailed, and a lucky few escaped - but only to become political exiles.

There is no happy ending to this day for the 'Burma story'. Power corrupts. Nothing is more frightening then absolute power in the hands of a few. A country rich in natural resources and yet has its citizens living in poverty due the greed of the powerful few. Sigh.....what is life like without freedom and to live in perpetual fear.

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