New Mandala readers in the vicinity of London may be interested to hear that John Pilger and David Munro’s film, Inside Burma, Land of Fear, will be shown tonight at 7 pm. It is part of the John Pilger Film Festival being held at the Barbican in central London.
The film, from 1996, seeks to expose “the history and brutality of one of the world’s most repressive regimes”. It has been largely well received by reviewers, including one academic commentator. Its political and rhetorical agenda is clear from the outset. For anybody still unsure on where Pilger stands on Burma and the Generals, an article from 2000 titled “Burma in the Balance” will provide all the clarification you need.
Filming inside Burma is notoriously difficult and even taking innocent photographs can sometimes be tricky. This film is therefore something of a novelty. Documentaries with any footage shot inside Burma are quite rare. In addition, this is a film where two big name documentary makers focussed their considerable energies and anger on presenting a devastating visual account of Burma in the 1990s. With the exception of film-makers who make forays to border areas, there are few documentary accounts of Burma from those who have ventured forth with film cameras in hand. For anybody interested in similar productions, “Burma Drugs” featuring long-time Burma-watchers Des Ball and Bertil Lintner, among others, is a 2001 documentary produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Foreign Correspondent program. It is also worth tracking down.
For tonight’s screening of Inside Burma, Land of Fear tickets are ┬г7 standard and ┬г6 concessions/members. Reductions are available for those who buy tickets to see four of the films in the John Pilger Festival.
Thanks to first-time New Mandala contributor Stephanie Vig for the tipoff.