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

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

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.