Burma VJ (HBO)
2010 | Magic Hour Films in co-production with WG Film, Mediamente, Kamoli Films, The Danish Film Institute and DR TV in association with HBO Documentary Films
In the late summer and fall of 2007, great throngs of Burmese citizens, following the lead of Buddhist monks, began peaceful street protests of the ruling military junta. So repressive was the regime that the outside world only came to know of the so-called “Saffron Revolution” by way of the Democratic Voice of Burma. The brigade of volunteer, underground reporters filmed the protests — and the government’s eventual, brutal crackdown — with small video cameras and smuggled the footage by courier and the Internet to Norway. Supporters there supplied footage to CNN, the BBC and other news organizations and, via satellite, beamed it back to Burma as well. Burma VJ is a remarkable, visceral account of those months of rising hope and of the video journalists (VJs) who risked arrest and torture to insure that the wider world would know. Apart from sparingly used re-creations to establish how the anonymous VJs worked, its all news footage from the demonstrations, at times shot at such close range that viewers may feel they are in the melee themselves. For its exhilarating, ultimately heartbreaking, account of the brave video journalists who showed the world their people’s dream of freedom, Burma VJ receives a Peabody Award.
Executive producer: Sheila Nevins (for HBO). Producers: Lise Lense Moller, Sara Bernstein (Supervising Producer for HBO). Director: Anders Østergaard. Director of photography: Simon Plum, DFF. Editors: Janus Billeskov Jansen, Thomas Papapetros.
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