A hybrid film about life under the regime of terror in Myanmar in the aftermath of its military coup of February 1st 2021, told through personal stories by a collective of anonymous young Burmese filmmakers.
70 min HD, Burmese with English subtitles, by the Myanmar Film Collective
12 Nov 11:45
Pathé City 3 (Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 15-19, 1017 RP)
Access: Passholders (upon registration) & Industry
23 Nov 18:30
ICA (The Mall, London, SW1 5AH)
Access: RSVP Required (a confirmation email will confirm your seat)
“An Extraordinary Achievement”
– Geoffrey Macnab, SEENL
“Powerful stuff politically, and artistically”
– Vladan Petkovic, Cineuropa
“Annonymous citizen journalists paint a harrowing scene”
– Nick Holdsworth, Variety
“Chronicles life under the junta in harrowing detail”
– Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter
In such extraordinary difficult times, a group of young Burmese filmmakers – both men and women – continue their work – as an act of creative resistance against the military regime. The group has chosen to remain anonymous, and calls itself The Myanmar Film Collective (MFC). They remain anonymous for their own safety, for thousands are being arrested and murdered for resisting the military regime, and those in the creative industries are being targeted as well.
After the military coup in early February last year, the filmmakers wrote the following:
This film is a reaction to the “spring-like dream” of freedom in Myanmar that lasted for merely ten years. It is about enthusiasm and hope of a young generation brutally crushed. Perversely, it is a nightmare that the older generations had hoped would never occur in this country again.
The filmmakers in this collective currently living in Myanmar decided to express this confusing, nightmarish time and the state of hopelessness through the medium of film, and weave short documentary and partly fictionalized anonymous hybrid films together.
MYANMAR DIARIES will be the collective expression of the youth born in the ’90s and the older generation who have grown up during the military rule. In it, you will see not just the despair, but also the absurdity of the whole situation, the sheer horror of the foolishness of the thirst for power, as well as the never-ending hope that there is still a chance for good in this seemingly hopeless world.
One year later, as the film has its world premiere in February 2022 in Berlinale’s Panorama, the MFC shares the following update:
This film is an expression of the pain and suffering our country has suffered since the military coup. It is a cry of injustice. And a demand that the world take notice. Not ignore us. Let the film become the statement that says “No More”. Let the film be a voice for the people who
have no voice.
We hope MYANMAR DIARIES will be a historical testament to remind us, and warn us and future generations about what must never happen again: that a country’s freedom can be taken away from it. We feel it our ethical duty to capture this horror on film. What has happened in Myanmar is not just a threat against the people of Myanmar, but against the principle of democracy and Human Rights in the entire world. If we allow any dictator to act as they want with impunity, it paves the way for the next monster to follow.
Netherlands-based ZINDOC produced MYANMAR DIARIES. Creative producer Corinne van Egeraat and her director partner Petr Lom lived in Myanmar from 2013-2017 teaching film and documentary photography, and making their feature documentary BURMA STORYBOOK. ZINDOC has produced two other films from Myanmar this year: SAD FILM (12 min.) an anonymous short about living in fear and the impossibility of filmmaking in Myanmar, which premiered in Venice this year; and LETTER TO SAN ZAW HTWAY (25 min.), a collective film about the inspiring Burmese artist/ activist San Zaw Htway and his resistance to dictatorship, directed by Petr Lom which premiered at IDFA recently. Norwegian Ten Thousand Images and producer Mette Cheng Munthe-Kaas co-produced MYANMAR DIARIES.