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But that's only the beginning of Laura’s movement toward enlightenment, and back to life. Beyond Rangoon abounds in memorable encounters--with individuals variously supportive and terrifying, and with locations and situations where hope and catastrophe trade off like valences of the same energy. As critic Kathleen Murphy has noted, "It's as though the fabric of reality shivers like water, racking focus into a new, altered pattern of experience." (Case in point: the startling image of a car's rear window star-shattered by a pursuer's bullet as Laura drives down an almost nonexistent jungle road--the pursuit car sharply irised in the bullet hole.) Boorman makes us feel the total chaos of a spectacularly beautiful land that is not only at the mercy of a brutal regime but utterly cut off from an outside world that doesn't, can't, know what's happening there. In this, Boorman's movie immeasurably increased awareness of Burma's tragedy, but it hasn't prevented the government of what's now called Myanmar from keeping Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest more than 20 years later. --Richard T. Jameson
- Making-of featurette
- Theatrical trailer
Top Customer Reviews
The qwest for freedom in the movie is for Arquette, her Burmese friends, and for the Burmese people. Arquette is unwittingly dumped by Fate into harm's way, only to rediscover her own inner strength. The Burmese people have been living in harm's way for years under a brutal military regime. It takes all the inner strength they can muster to make it through each day. And for those who are truly brave, there may be opportunities to escape into Thailand.
I won't go into detail on the plot. Suffice to say that I was greatly moved by the stories in the movie. I verified the horrible life faced by the Burmese people after watching this movie. I didn't know. We in the West live in ignorance of such horrifying human rights abuses. Burma's struggle is not on the news every night. These people largely suffer in silence.
The movie probably tones it down quite a bit. The Burmese army routinely enscripts and brutalizes child labor to build roads (often for Western companies). The army routinely rapes women in villages around the country. And the army has systematically murdered adult men, particularly any man even thought to be in opposition to the dictatorship. Burma experiences the depths of evil everyday.
We owe it to ourselves to watch such movies. They remind us of what man is capable of and what we must overcome. They remind us of the power we have to overcome. And they remind us to be thankful for the freedoms we in the West enjoy.
Laura (Arquette) and her sister, Andy (Frances McDormand), are on vacation in Burma, two American tourists enjoying a boat ride down a beautifully scenic river in Burma. Laura has been brought here by her sister in the hopes it will help her move forward after she has lost everything she loved. Though Laura seems stoic, there is tremendous pain just beneath the surface, emotions so strong she dare not let herself feel them. She has walked away from her life as a doctor because she could not heal herself and is drifting on a boat of sorrow.
Boorman shows us a visually beautiful country, that like Arquette, has deep emotions just below the surface. One night in her hotel room Laura hears a demonstration in the streets and is drawn to it, witnessing firsthand the call for freedom as one woman fearlessly calls for democracy in the midst of soldiers sent to stop her. That woman is Aung Suu Kui (Adelle Lutz). The soldiers are, in a larger sense, her sons and brothers, and she bravely walks to them and lowers their weapons.
When Laura is separated from her sister she forms a friendship with an elderly teacher and a group of young students who are seeking change.Read more ›
I happened to be on the Thai border in September of 1988 just prior to the massive movement of people across the border due to the response to Aung San Suu Kyi and her following. I did not know that at the time. All I remember is that on Thai TV a border war seemed to be starting and the road that I was driving on just the week before was being bombed by the Burmese.
The story, although referring to the rebellion and some of those who fled, is more about Archette's character as she struggled to forget the death of her son and husband. As a Doctor, she never took time to get away, and Rangoon seemed a place to be that was exotic.
She takes a walk one very balmy evening only to see Aung San Suu Kyi and her followers walking enmasse on the street. There is later the next day another protest, then things unravel and Archette, Dr. Laura Bowman, is forced to flee.
The flight across the jungle is intense. You actually feel the horror she feels, the close calls, yet, she is helped to flee by virtual strangers with a mutual desire to survive.
This is an excellent movie as an introduction to Myanmar/Burmese history. I have stayed on the border with some of the Karen peoples, whom you will be introduced to at the end of the movie. They are a kind people who also have been effected by the power politics that is Myanmar.
This movie is a keeper and worth watching now and again to remind you that the rest of the world does not rest as easy as we do in the west.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
everyone should look at this movie and thank their lucky stars that they enjoy freedom and not fear everyday. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Holly Lane
This was the first movie ever attempted about Burma, and I admire John Boorman's courage to present the story with grace, compassion and truth. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Rita Calvert
Good movie, sad situation how a peaceful and loving people can be so suppressed by power Hungary government.
In the end everyone looses. Read more
One of the absolute best movies I've ever seen. How was it done so realistically? My compliments to the producer.Published 7 months ago by Paul R.
By no means a perfect film, Patricia Arquette is lovely and in fine form. While tears are jerked here in somewhat hackneyed ways, people who have traveled to Burma (I have)... Read morePublished 8 months ago by KSS
I have seen this movie a few time and wanted to own it.
it's a fictional piece of unknown history of Rangoon with problem that continue over there.
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|Insane that there is no dvd release yet||
I fell for this movie when it was released too. I too wish that the Powers that control the rights will Let us see a movie that still rings a truth today about the turmoil that is in Burma.
Nov 16, 2007 by D. L. Phillips | See all 2 posts
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