Watch They Call It Myanmar: Lifting the Curtain
- 1 hr 23 min
They Call It Myanmar: Lifting the Curtain is a documentary film released in 2012, directed by Robert H. Lieberman. The film aims to uncover life in the mysterious country of Myanmar, also known as Burma, and its closed political environment. The documentary is a result of Lieberman's personal fascination with the country and its people, and his desire to share his findings with the rest of the world.
The film presents a candid footage of the country's current political scene, including interviews with prominent figures such as Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate and leader of the National League for Democracy, as well as with ordinary citizens living under the strict rules of the military government. The interviews aim to give viewers an insight into their personal experience of living in Myanmar and their hopes for the future of the country.
The film starts with a brief historical context of the region, discussing its colonization by British forces, and the subsequent Independence in 1948. It also delves into the military coup in 1962, which initiated decades of authoritarian rule, censorship, and oppression. The documentary then moves on to explore life under the military junta and the 2008 Cyclone Nargis, which killed an estimated 140,000 people.
Despite the bleak portrayal of life under the Burmese government, the film highlights the tenacity and courage of the Burmese people. The scenes of the everyday life of citizens contrast with the poverty and the oppression promoted by the ruling military junta. One can see everyday Burmese citizens going about their daily lives despite the oppressive regime they are living under. It is a clear testament to their resilience and fortitude.
One of the most striking features of the film is its dramatic footage of Burma's most recent events, such as the Saffron Revolution in 2007 and the shift towards democracy in 2010. The documentary also examines the high-profile release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest in 2010, after seven years of detention, and her subsequent temporary release from her most recent house arrest in 2011. Footage of Suu Kyi's speeches shows her as headstrong, yet compassionate and at the same time, it gives viewers an idea of the struggles that Myanmar has faced in the last few decades.
What is truly unique about this documentary is that it is a rare glimpse into a world that remains hidden from the outside world, in part due to the strict censorship laws levied on the media by the Burmese government. Before they permitted the documentary makers to enter, the Burmese government gave the film crew strict guidelines to follow, but Lieberman managed to get much more than they bargained for as he exposed a great deal about Myanmar in just an hour and ten minutes.
The cinematography of the film is excellent, capturing the beauty of the landscape, the people and the architecture. The soundtrack of the film enhances the visual story, evoking a sense of mystery and intrigue. The narration is simple and informative, guiding the viewers through the complexities of the country's history and current situation.
In conclusion, They Call It Myanmar: Lifting the Curtain is a thought-provoking and insightful documentary that sheds light on the troubled history and current state of Myanmar. It presents a delicate balance between criticism of the government's policies and highlights the strengths and hopes of the Burmese people. The various interviews give viewers a glimpse into the cultural and political landscape of Myanmar, and its potential for change. It is a heart-warming and essential viewing for anyone interested in the complex history and politics of Southeast Asia.
They Call It Myanmar: Lifting the Curtain is a 2012 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 23 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0 and a MetaScore of 68.