NEWS, Released docs — 01/23/2011 8:58 PM

Burma Soldier (2010)

Posted by

burma-soldier

Annie Sundberg, Nic Dunlop, Ricki Stern, Ireland, USA, 2010, color, HD, 70 min

Directed by Nic Dunlop, Annie Sundberg (The Devil came on Horseback) and Ricki Stern (The End of America), ‘Burma Soldier’ follows soldier Myo Mint, whose stint in the Burmese army came to an end when an arm and leg were blown away whilst clearing mines. Discharged, he tries to educate himself illicitly through banned books, on why Burma was at war with itself. He soon became an outspoken activist; campaigning against the very regime he used to represent – a dangerous undertaking which soon led to brutal repercussions. The feature doc was nominated at the Sheffield Doc fest in the categories of Doc/EU and will be shown on HBO2 in My 2011.

Produced by Julie LeBrocquy (Osama) for LeBrocquy Fraser Productions and co-financed by the IFB, HBO and Sundance, ‘Burma Soldier’ premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh in 2010 where it won the runner up prize for Best Feature Documentary.

Synopsis : Former Burmese soldier Myo Myint unfolds his life story in a first person interview captured while he waits in the Umpeim Mai refugee camp in Northern Thailand – along with thousands of compatriots – to be granted refugee status in a third country. Myo Myint fled from the Burmese regime that he supported for many years. Using archive footage smuggled out of Burma to illustrate his story, Myo Myint explains how as a boy seeking respect and security, he made the decision to join the army, which has held his homeland in a vice-like grip since 1962. After being hit by a mortar during the civil war and losing an arm, a leg and several fingers, he realizes that he is doing anything but serving his people. Myint opens a hidden library of strictly banned books, provides an account of his military life, and demonstrates against the regime. The authorities arrest him; he is severely tortured and he spends the following 15 years in prison, much of it in solitary confinement – all because of a single comment: “I told them [the judges] I don’t believe in the military regime.” Following his release, he is kept under constant surveillance and decides to flee to Thailand. Once there, he reestablishes contact with his family, who have meanwhile sought asylum in the United States and want him to join them there. Myint is faced with the heartrending dilemma of whether or not to upturn his life once more and say farewell to his fatherland forever.

burma-soldier-poster
Credits :

Directors:  Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg and Nic Dunlop
Photography:  Nic Dunlop
Screenplay:  Annie Sundberg and Nic Dunlop
Editing : Sinead Kinnane
Music : Paul Brill and U2
Narration : Annie Sundberg
Narrator : Colin Farell
Production : Julie leBrocquy for leBrocguy Fraser Productions, Annie Sundberg for Break Thru Films and Nic Dunlop
with the support of : Festivals: Development Funding Award, Sundance Institute Documentary Fund

Involved TV Channels :  HBO and Buddhist Broadcasting Foundation
Selected for Sheffield Doc Fest, IDFA 2010 and Docs for Sale 2010
. Ireland, Burma, Thailand, United States
. 2010
. 70 min
. HDCam
. English, Burmese

Contact: Julie LeBrocquy
Producer
LeBrocquy Fraser Productions Inc.
jlebrocquy@lebrocquyfraser.com
+353 866039845

www.lebrocquyfraser.com

Video trailer and video excerpt

Break Thru Film web page

“Burma Soldier
Like “Donor Unknown,” “Burma Soldier” premiered at Sheffield and received funding from both the Sundance Documentary Fund and Cinereach – with such support, the film is bound to have a healthy life on the festival circuit and perhaps beyond. Focused on Myo Myint, a former Burmese soldier, the film offers powerful first-hand testimony about the abusive totalitarian system seen in films like “Burma VJ,” but from the unique perspective of a man who was one of the abusers. After he turned against the oppressive regime he once supported, Myint spent 15 years in prison, enduring torture, before finally seeking asylum in Thailand. As perhaps suggested by having three directors, the film isn’t as focused as it could be – despite this, it’s worthwhile for its remarkable access to its courageous subject. At IDFA, producer Julie leBrocguy noted that, through the help of underground activists, the film is being smuggled into Burma so that it can be shown to the Burmese people and perhaps help motivate them to fight back against their oppression. Indiwire.com (22/11/2010)

Reviews : NY Times (21/01/11), The Australian (29/01/11),

Video interviews from Sheffield Doc Fest


Related posts:

Doc news / 1-15 October 2010
Executives move into Beach House (C21 Media)
2 Asian 4 European docs selected by Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2011
Canadian Breakthrough signs Asian deals
Despite the Gods (2012, Australia)

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.