Burma VJ – Reporting from a Closed Сountry

Part of: Absolute Strategy: Games in the City


Norway/Sweden/UK/Denmark 2008

Director Anders Ostergaard

90 min

The Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) consists of a group of about 30 Burmese reporters who secretly film the abuses in their country.

The footage is then smuggled across the border and broadcast via satellite from the headquarters in Oslo.

These are the images that could be seen across the globe when a revolution was about to erupt in the late summer of 2007.

Led by Buddhist monks, more than 100,000 people took to the streets to march peacefully against the military dictatorship that has held the country in an iron grip for 40 years now.

Burma VJ — Reporting From a Closed Country, which won the Joris Ivens Award in 2008, is almost exclusively compiled from footage shot by DVB reporters.

One of them supplies the voice-over.

From his hiding place in Thailand, he uses the telephone or Internet to stay in touch with colleagues who report on the uprising: shaky hand-held images of emergency deliberations by protesters, of the dispersion of the crowd, of monks and civilians getting knocked down.

Their cameras hidden in bags or clenched under their armpits, the DVB reporters risk their lives and take the viewer right into the heat of the turmoil.