They Call it Myanmar - Lifting the Curtain

Robert H. Lieberman, USA, 2011, color, HDcam, 90'
Synopsis

A rare glimpse behind the scenes in Burma - or Myanmar, as the ruling military junta renamed it in 1989 - one of the most isolated countries in the world. Writer and filmmaker Robert H. Lieberman secretly filmed the everyday lives of ordinary citizens over a period of two years - lives defined by food shortages, power cuts, and a lack of health care and education. This land of countless golden pagodas that not so long ago was renowned as the "rice bowl of Asia" is now a place of terrible poverty, which has led to widespread child labor and trafficking. In a remarkable interview, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi talks about the recent history of Burma and her many years under house arrest for her political activities. Anonymous commentators talk about the character of this regime, which has absolutely no communication with its population, but uses physical repression to hold the country in its iron grip. We also see how Buddhism has influenced the way in which the Burmese deal with the difficult living conditions. This film is a portrait of a land where beauty and decay, and fear and courage, closely coexist.

First Hand
Nominations IDFA 2014 announced November 26, 2014 | The nominations for IDFA's seven competitions hava been announced. In addition, the Oxfam Global Justice Award was presented to Fest of Duty by Firouzeh Khosrovani and Maite Alberdi received The Alliance of Women Film Journalists' EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary for Tea Time.
Help crowdfund Lyari Notes November 26, 2014 | In the IDFA Bertha Fund-supported Lyari Notes, a rock star teaches a group of girls from the most volatile district of Karachi, Pakistan how to express themselves through music. The directors need your help to finish their film!
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