Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Documentary about 2007 Burmese monks' protest wins international prize

Democratic Voice of Burma reports that 'Burma VJ – Reporting from a closed country', by filmmaker Anders Østergaard has won the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam's 'Joris Ivens' prize.

The film "tells the struggles of how a reporter covered the unfolding events in Burma" during the September 2007 protests. The article notes that "the Burmese journalist whom Anders Østergaard follows in his film is a video reporter of the Oslo-based Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB)." About eighty percent of the film consists of video clips shot during the protests by various Burmese. The DVB reports that "the 120 minute film will continue competing in various film festivals in Europe and will later be released for screening in theatres around the world."

A prospect not mentioned in the press releases, it seems to me that Burma is where the Anders Østergaard film is likely to have a lasting impact. I took the above photoin Burma in October 2007. It depicts Burmese gathered at a restaurant to view a pirated DVD movie. The Østergaard film will similarly attract a lot of viewers in Burma, though they are unlikely to view it in open street venues like this one.

My reports on Burma 2007 are here.

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