Burma VJ: Reporting From a Closed Country
Armed with pocket-sized video cameras, a tenacious band of Burmese reporters face down death to expose the repressive regime controlling their country. In 2007, after decades of self-imposed silence, Burma became headline news across the globe when peaceful Buddhist monks led a massive rebellion. More than 100,000 people took to the streets protesting a cruel dictatorship that has held the country hostage for more than 40 years. Foreign news crews were banned, the Internet was shut down, and Burma was closed to the outside world. So how did we witness these events? Enter the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), aka the Burma VJs. Compiled from the shaky handheld footage of the DVB, acclaimed filmmaker Anders Ostergaard's Burma VJ pulls us into the heat of the moment as the VJs themselves become the target of the Burmese government. Their tactical leader, code-named Joshua, oversees operations from a safe hiding place in Thailand. Via clandestine phone calls, Joshua dispenses his posse of video warriors, who covertly film the abuses in their country, then smuggle their footage across the border into Thailand. Joshua ships the footage to Norway, where it is broadcast back to Burma and the world via satellite. Burma VJ plays like a thriller, all the more scary because it is true.
Produced by: Lise Lense-Møller
Directed by: Anders Ostergaard
Written by: Anders Ostergaard, Jan Krogsgaard
Running time: 1hr 24min
Opens: May 20, 2009 NY
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