Myanmar

Defining Freedom

For sixty years, Army Generals ruled over Myanmar. Free elections, human rights – nobody believed in such things any more. But with the first free elections in over twenty years began an unexpected and unprecedented reform process. Political prisoners were released, and a peace agreement signed with the rebels. The pace of change in Myanmar surprised the world. But how are young people handling their newfound freedom?

There are the “My N Mar Girls” – the country’s best-know girl band. These five young women want to break down conventions and traditions with their songs. They’re the first artists from Myanmar to have signed a record deal in the USA. And there is Pyio-Pyio, the 21-year-old activist, who has spent four years in prison and is now campaigning for Aung San Suu Kyi.

Not everyone is convinced by this transformation, however: an underground journalist films social injustice, breaking the law in doing so. A grandmother remains distrustful – both her son and granddaughter were imprisoned when they rebelled against the dictatorship. But until recently they wouldn’t have dared think that their country would open itself up so radically.

A film by Carl Gierstorfer & Carsten Stormer

Camera: Carl Gierstorfer
Editor: Marcel Ozan Riedel
Executive Producer: Christian Popp
Commissioning Editor for ARTE: Uwe-Lothar Müller

A production of DOCDAYS Productions for ARTE

Length: 26 min
Release Date: 2012

For sixty years, Army Generals ruled over Myanmar. Free elections, human rights – nobody believed in such things any more. But with the first free elections in over twenty years began an unexpected and unprecedented reform process. Political prisoners were released, and a peace agreement signed with the rebels. The pace of change in Myanmar surprised the world. But how are young people handling their newfound freedom?

There are the “My N Mar Girls” – the country’s best-know girl band. These five young women want to break down conventions and traditions with their songs. They’re the first artists from Myanmar to have signed a record deal in the USA. And there is Pyio-Pyio, the 21-year-old activist, who has spent four years in prison and is now campaigning for Aung San Suu Kyi.

Not everyone is convinced by this transformation, however: an underground journalist films social injustice, breaking the law in doing so. A grandmother remains distrustful – both her son and granddaughter were imprisoned when they rebelled against the dictatorship. But until recently they wouldn’t have dared think that their country would open itself up so radically.

 

A film by Carl Gierstorfer & Carsten Stormer

Camera: Carl Gierstorfer
Editor: Marcel Ozan Riedel
Executive Producer: Christian Popp
Commissioning Editor for ARTE: Uwe-Lothar Müller

A production of DOCDAYS Productions for ARTE

Length: 26 min
Release Date: 2012