Burma Vj: Reporting From A Closed Country

"Excellent"

Burma Vj: Reporting From A Closed Country Review


A gripping film about journalism in a seriously extreme situation, this doc tells the fascinating story behind the guerrilla images shown on our news about the situation in Burma, one of the most repressive governments on earth.

The film is narrated by the 27-year-old activist Joshua, whose job as a VJ (video journalist) is to record events then smuggle the footage to the world's press by internet or satellite phone. As part of the Democratic Voice of Burma, a TV channel in exile, he is involved in covering the monks' protest in September 2007 and the government's subsequent violent crackdown. And once the monks are silenced, the government goons go after the video crew.

Some segments of this film play out more like a Blair Witch-style thriller than a doc, as the camera captures grim violence and breathy escapes (a title tells us that some footage has been recreated). But what's even more provocative and moving is the way these journalists are risking their lives to cover the story.

The monks' protest in 2007 was the first uprising against the tyrannical military junta since 1988, when 3,000 protesters were murdered and the democratically elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, was placed under house arrest, where she remains today.

Watching these scenes, which the leaders want to hide from the world, is pretty horrific. And the bravery of these young journalists is seriously inspirational, as are the monks who put their lives on the line in the name of their nation's oppressed poor. This is a country of 55 million people that the West has essentially shrugged off. And these young, tenacious journalists have one goal: to make sure the world doesn't forget about them.

As they go about their business, we really feel their fear and tenacity, as well as their hope that someday the injustice, violence and intimidation must end. It's a captivating story, filled with moments of raw horror as well as exhilarating triumph (such as when Joshua sees his footage on the BBC). And the developing story of the 2007 protests has much more texture and detail when told from this perspective, as opposed to the limited reporting we got at the time. This film can't help but inspire anyone who sees it to take action in some way.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Anders Ostergaard

Producer: Lise Lense-Moller

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Since its true story is still so timely after some 150 years, we can forgive...

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

This reunion of actor Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg feels like a natural successor...

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Ransom Riggs' bestselling novel is appropriately adapted into a movie by Tim Burton, the gothic...

Get Back Movie Review

Get Back Movie Review

Roger Appleton's documentary 'Get Back' looks into the music scene that come out of Liverpool....

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Advertisement
Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.