In partnership with Vikalp Film Archive
Burma VJ, by Anders Østergaard
Mon 15th, 7pm, Alliance Française auditorium
Going beyond the occasional news clip from Burma, the acclaimed filmmaker, Anders Østergaard, brings us close to the daring video journalists who deliver the footage. Armed with small handy cams, the Burma VJs make their reportages from the streets of Rangoon. Their material is smuggled out of the country and broadcast back into Burma via satellite and offered as free usage for international media. The regime soon understands the power of the camera and the reporters are constantly chased by government intelligence agents who look at the “media saboteurs” as the biggest prey they can get.
The whole world has witnessed single event clips made by the VJs, but for the very first time, their individual images have been carefully put together and at once, they tell a much bigger story. The film offers a unique insight into high-risk journalism and dissidence in a police state, while at the same time providing a thorough documentation of the historical and dramatic days of September 2007, when the Buddhist monks started marching. Their compulsive instinct to shoot what they witness, rather than any deliberate heroism, turns their lives into that of freedom fighters.
With the protagonist Joshua as the psychological lens, the Burmese condition is made tangible to a global audience so we can understand it, feel it, and smell it.