by Jeff Niesel
Cobble together from footage taken by an collective of underground video journalists, Burma VJ has its local premiere tonight at 7 at the Cleveland Museum of Art as part of the Museum's "Friday Night First-Runs" series. Here's our review.
Burma VJ (Denmark, 2008) The amazing thing about Anders Østergaard's film is the way it's able to construct a cohesive narrative out of nothing more than underground footage and re-enactments of political strife in Burma. But the English voiceover (with subtitles, since the narrator has a heavy accent) does more than a capable job of walking you through the political unrest in Burma. The film starts with the 2007 uprising in Myanmar and shows how the government used force to put it down, even beating and imprisoning monks. Some of the footage is quite graphic. But the movie is out to show the power that a small group of video journalists have. Their footage makes its way out of the country and onto the international news circuit, helping bring attention to the plight of the Burmese people. *** (Jeff Niesel)