Anders Østergaard
Burma VJ: Reporting from a closed country
Part of
Burma VJ: Reporting from a closed country

Burma VJ: Reporting from a closed country

Anders Østergaard

2008
84 min.
Denmark
English and Burmese
Subtitles: Catalan and Spanish

Courageous young citizens of Burma live the essence of journalism as they insist on keeping up the flow of news from their closed country.

Datasheet

Show
Direction
Anders Østergaard
Executive Production
Lise Lense-Møller
Sound
Marting Hennel
Distribution
DocsBarcelona Distribution
Production
Magic Hour Films ApS
Film Editing
Janus Billeskov Jansen, Thomas Papapetros
Script
Anders Østergaard, Jan Krogsgaard
Synopsis

Armed with small handy cams, undercover Video Journalists in Burma keep up the flow of news from their closed country. Going beyond the occasional news clip from Burma, acclaimed director Anders Østergaard brings us close to the video journalists who deliver the footage. Though risking torture and life in jail, courageous young citizens of Burma live the essence of journalism as they insist on keeping up the flow of news from their closed country. The Burma VJs stop at nothing to make their reportages from the streets of Rangoon. Their material is smuggled out of the country and broadcast back into Burma via satellite and offered as free usage for international media. The whole world has witnessed single event clips made by the VJs, but for the very first time, their individual images have been carefully put together and now tell a much bigger story. ”Joshua,” age 27, is one of the young video journalists, who works undercover to counter the propaganda of the military regime. Foreign TV crews are suddenly banned from the country, so it’s left to Joshua and his crew to keep the revolution alive on TV screens the world over. With Joshua as the psychological lens, the Burmese condition is made tangible to a global audience so we can understand it, feel it, and smell it. The film offers a unique insight into high-risk journalism and dissidence in a police state, while at the same time providing a thorough documentation of the historical and dramatic days of September 2007, when the Buddhist monks started marching.

About the direction
Anders Østergaard

Anders Østergaard

Director

Graduated from the Danish School of Media and Journalism in 1991 after training at Central Televisio...

DocsBarcelona Trajectory

2010
DocsBarcelona Festival
Edició 2010
2010
Docs del Mes · April
Edició 2010

Awards and festivals

Oscar Nominee for Best Documentary Film
United States, 2010
Best Documentary film Montage · Sundance Film Festival
United States, 2009
Joris Ivens Award · IDFA
The Netherlands, 2008
Human Rights Award · IDFA
The Netherlands, 2008
Best Documentary · CPH:DOX
Denmark, 2008
Amnesty Award · CPH:DOX
Denmark, 2008
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Reviews

Burma VJ celebrates the courage of the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), a group of underground journalists who risked their lives to document the 2007 uprising against the junta.

— Leslie Felperin, Variety

"Burma VJ" uses shocking video images and reconstructed scenes to create a coherent, mostly chronological account of what happened.

— John Hartl, Seattle Times

Burma VJ would be even more intense without its early announcement that some scenes have been restaged, putting the viewer in a regrettably uncertain relationship to what follows.

— Rob Nelson, Menneapolis Star Tribune

The true heroes of Burma VJ are the cadres of guerrilla video journalists who secretly filmed the junta's brutal suppression of the popular revolt in the fall of 2007.

— Michael Posner, Globe and Mail
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