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Burma VJ (T/F 2009) by Anders Østergaard

Available on Vimeo.

This certifiable classic, a tense suspense thriller in the guise of a new-form political documentary, begins in 1988, when Burma’s military junta brutally shot and killed 3,000 demonstrators, imprisoned opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and outlawed independent journalism. In the years since, the Democratic Voice of Burma, a “television station in exile,” has begun sneaking images of the repression out of the country. Using cheap handicams, cell phones, short-wave radio and satellite feeds, the DVB transmits startling footage across the globe, fueling international outrage against the totalitarian government. When the nation’s Buddhist monks decide to take to the streets in September 2007, joined by tens of thousands of students, the DVB was there, allowing the world to watch both this event and its brutal aftermath. A testament to the courage of journalists and a cautionary tale for dictators, Burma VJ is truly inspiring.

Jason Guerrasio’s interview with director Anders Østergaard in Filmmaker Magazine.