Myanmar Diaries – ‘a story of human dignity’


Myanmar Diaries, which won the Best Documentary Prize at the Berlin Film Festival, is a hybrid documentary made by 10 anonymous Burmese citizens who are part of the Myanmar Film Collective. In a bid to bring what is happening in Myanmar to the attention of the West, the film-makers have humanized the experience of life under military rule by asking participants to make “first-person” stories about what they see in their everyday lives, or recreations of things they have seen, heard or experienced, Kaleem Aftab writes for I-News.

The film opens with a title card stating that it is 1 February 2021, the day the military ousted the government of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi:

An aerobics instructor moves to the music of an Indonesian dance track when the military starts rolling in behind her on the street. At the time, the clip went viral and many wondered if it was staged; here it sets up the tone of the documentary, which purposely blurs the line between fact and fiction in an effort to protect the identity of the film-makers.

“Nowadays, we are so saturated with images, it’s harder for them all to have the impact they deserve, so we have to be more creative,” says M, one of the film’s anonymous directors. “But I am sure that authoritarian and repressive governments are still afraid of images.” RTWT

Myanmar Diaries is available to stream at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival until 25 March.

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