Burma VJ

January 23, 2009

Burma VJ is a documentary film by Danish director Anders Østergaard about the Burmese reporters who risked their lives covering the Saffron revolution in Burma in September 2007. Østergaard assembled the film almost entirely from handheld footage shot during the protests. A journalist, using the pseudonym Joshua and with the Democratic Voice of Burma, who shot some of the film relates the story over the footage. Østergaard and Joshua talk about the film at Independent Film Talk,

It’s all about relating [says Østergaard] that you can relate to Burma’s conditions somehow, that we can make the things, the thoughts these guys have and what they’re going through universal rather than being exotic, rather than being about a remote place where some monks are walking about, finding some generals. We get empathy with what it is like to be a freedom fighter, if you like, and also to maybe develop the thought that “Hey, maybe I would do that same thing if I was in the same situation.” It’s not a special breed of people doing this. Normal human beings need freedom so much that they will do these things eventually if conditions force them to it. So I was anxious to make it universal thing and a thing you can relate to. link

The film opens in New York City in May, 2009.