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.

IDFA is revamping its competitions September 1, 2015 | From the next festival edition, the IDFA juries will grant two awards in each competition: one for best documentary, and a special jury award. A new award will also be presented for the best international youth documentary. All jury awards will be presented on Wednesday, November 25.
Help crowdfund Laila at the Bridge September 1, 2015 | Against all odds, an Afghan woman risks everything to save heroin addicts in Kabul, and ends up also saving herself in Laila at the Bridge. The film was previously supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund. Now, directors Gulistan Mirzaei and Elissa Sylvia Mirzaei need your help to finish their film!
IDFA Awards given out in Durban, Montevideo and Sarajevo August 27, 2015 | Three IDFA Awards were handed out over the summer to promising projects pitched at three international film markets. As part of the awards, all winners will attend IDFA in November.

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IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 1 day ago
Help directors Gulistan Mirzaei and Elissa Sylvia Mirzaei finish their IBF-supported doc #LailaAtTheBridge here: http://t.co/AFVe7VYPJ7
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IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 2 days ago
@ElixirMediaProd @GrassRootsDocu Can you please send an e-mail to yorinde@idfa.nl with this question? Thank you!
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