"Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country" Film Screening
Armed with video cameras, a tenacious band of Burmese reporters [VJ=Video Journalist] face down death to expose the repressive regime controlling their country.
Friday, November 20, 2009
7:00 PM - 9:30 PM
James Bridges Theater
Informal Reception at 6:30 p.m.
Burma VJ tells the story of the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) and their role in the battle for a free and democratic Burma. Going beyond the occasional news clip from Burma, the acclaimed filmmaker, Anders Østergaard, brings us close to the video journalists (VJs) who deliver the footage. Though risking torture and life in jail, courageous young citizens of Burma live the essence of journalism. Armed with small handycams the Burma VJs stop at nothing to report from the streets of Rangoon. Their material is smuggled out of the country and broadcast back via satellite. The whole world has witnessed event clips made by the VJs, but for the very first time, their images have been carefully put together and tell a much bigger story. 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 protest marches.
Amidst marching monks, brutal police agents, and shooting military the reporters embark on their dangerous mission, working around the clock to keep the world informed of events inside the closed country. Their compulsive instinct to shoot what they witness, rather than any deliberate heroism, turns their lives into that of freedom fighters.
Commentary provided by Spencer Kerrigan, the Executive Director of Partners Relief and Development, a 501(c)(3) charity that provides rice, medicine and education to children and communities impacted by war in Burma’s conflict zones, and reports on the condition of civilian populations. Previous to working with Partners, Spencer spent 9 years in the field of public education, as an educator and later consultant for the publishing company, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He assisted under-performing schools improve their student achievement capacity and helped in the development and implementation of innovative products and systems to promote higher student success. Spencer holds a B.A. in English/Communication from Azusa Pacific University and an M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Trinity Western University. He lives with his wife and two children in Southern California. You will be encouraged by his message of hope for children of war.
Cost: Free and open to the public.