Sunday, November 13, 2011

Burma VJ

Burma VJ is a documentary mostly made up of footage smuggled out of Burma depicting the uprisings against the oppressive military regime in place in 2007. It was relased in 2008 and has won several awards since its inception and has been screened at film festivals around the world. Freedom of the press is basically non-existant in the world shown on the screen and the viewer is aware that the footage being witnissed is legendary to say the least. The reporters risked imprisonment and maybe execution by capturing the shakey, handcamera scenes. The reporters have to conceal their cameras under their arms and in bags, and if they are noticed, they are harassed and arrested. In one scene, a government agent dressed in civilian clothes sees one of the reporters carrying a camera and tries to grab hold of him but is stopped by the Burmese monks. The movie as a whole illuminates the importance of citizen journalism and how much of an impact it can have on a country and the world. It also shows how far a country can go in oppressing it and how heroic civilian journalists can be. It gives countries with a free press a greater appreciation for what they have and a deeper sympathy for those who are restricted.

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