Burma VJ

"heart-wrenching"
****
Starting on Friday, September 11 at the Winnipeg Film Group's Cinematheque...

Anders Østergaard's terrific documentary about a loosely organized network of scrappy underground videographers who risked their lives photographing the 2007 uprising against Myanmar's military dictatorship.

The government shut down the Internet and local media, and banned foreign journalists from covering the demonstrations, which were led by Buddhist monks and students with growing support from an emboldened public.

Burma VJ takes us on a roller coaster of alternating hope and despair as the young guerrilla reporters, always on the lookout for ubiquitous informers, wade into the thick of the struggle with Handycams hidden in bags, then transmit the footage to a hidden colleague, who smuggles it out of the country via satellite. The raw, shocking images of courage and brutal backlash, here enhanced by added voiceover from two anguished young cameramen, were then broadcast, uncanned and unpolished, by the mainstream media.


 

“Should be required viewing for anyone thinking of becoming any kind of journalist, be they blogger, indie-media digicammer, or Facebook feed-streamer. It's the truth, unshackled and captured against all odds, and it's one of the most powerful documentary films I have ever seen, period.     AUSTIN CHRONICLE


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