DER Documentary

Burma Diary

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by Jeanne Hallacy
color, 55 min, 1997


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This powerful and universally-acclaimed documentary explores the revolutionary movement fighting for democracy in Burma and depicts how young people, in particular, are affected by the human rights abuses of Burma's dictatorial military government. The State Law and Order Restoration Council forcibly overthrew Burma's free 1990 election, when the Burmese people voted overwhelmingly for the National League of Democracy, the party of nonviolence advocate and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Burma Diary focuses on the story of Tint Aung, a young Burmese man who was actively involved in the protest movement while in college. He is forced to flee from his home and take refuge in the jungles of the Burmese-Thailand border along with his wife and his two young daughters. As the film chronicles four harsh years of Tint Aung';s struggle to survive, it provides a passionate and at times heartbreaking study of the hopes of and the obstacles facing the Burmese democracy movement.

A marvelous introductory film on contemporary issues in Burma. It captured my students' attention immediately because it focused on a young man from the same age group as their own. Students could identify with him and understand the extraordinary risks that he was taking. While many students knew nothing about Burma at the onset of the film, it helped them to understand the political, economic, and social issues there, and sparked a genuine interest to learn more about the country. — Laurene Wu McClain, Dept. of Social Sciences, City College of San Francisco
A superb documentary. It was informative, fascinating, and thought-provoking, and it moved everyone in the class, including myself. — Hanna Slurua, Chairperson, School of Oriental and African Studies, Univ. of London

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Free Burma Film Festival, Los Angeles, 1997
San Francisco Buddhist Center, 1997
Zen Center, San Francisco, 1997
People's Peace House, Belfast, 1997
Soeterijin Theater, Amsterdam, 1997
Gold Apple Award, National Educational Film Festival, 1998
Association for Asian Studies Conference, 1998
Asian Pacific International Film Festival, Los Angeles, 1998
Berlin Intl. Film Festival, 1998
Images Asia, Chiang Mai, 1998
Irish Film Centre, Dublin, 1998
Women in the Director's Chair Film Festival, Chicago, 1998
Seoul Human Rights Film Festival, 1998
Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand, 1998
Uruguay International Film Festival, Montevideo, 1998
Amnesty International Film Festival, Vancouver, 1998
Human Rights Watch Intl. Film Festival, London,1998
Bangkok International Film Festival, 1998
Broadcast, PBS-17 stations, USA, 1998
Broadcast, SBS Australia, 1998
Broadcast, Danish State Television, 1998
Broadcast, Portugal State Television, 1998
Broadcast, Fiji Channel 1 Television, 1999
International Week of Justice Festival, Amnesty International, India, 2008

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Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts