Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country

A documentary about Burmese people and the Buddhist monks that lead a massive uprising in 2007. A group of undercover reporters struggle to capture those moments under constant threat of torture and being shot.

Although it may not be revolutionary in a graphical or stylistic way, it certainly is revolutionary in that it was footage that was captured via small handheld cameras and smuggled out of a closed country, and then piped back into the country via satellite to counter the government approved fare - a testament to how technology is changing the reporting landscape. This was the only available footage of the protests as foreign journalists were not allowed, and internet access was completely blocked for a time.

I felt very lucky to been able to see the brave director speak about his film in person at the Michigan Traverse City Film Festival. Unfortunately many of the camera operators are still in prison or perhaps worse. Website and more information.

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