17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A gripping documentary about the challenges of reporting from Burma,
I had the chance to see this movie when it went on tour and stopped in my city. I loved it. It is an extremely well-made documentary, but, oddly enough, seems more like an dramatic movie than a documentary. It follows several undercover journalists in the military dictatorship of Burma. The film follows them as they document the anti-government protests that took place in 2007 (also known as the "Saffron Revolution"). The film keeps a quick pace and I actually found it quite suspenseful, even though the events took place over two years ago. The viewer is never sure whether the journalists will successfully evade arrest or even survive their next encounter. For those viewers not as familiar with the events of the Saffron Revolution, I expect the film will be all the more exciting.
On another note, the footage in the film is incredible. The journalists used primarily handheld Sony videocameras, often hidden in bags in order to evade military spies. Yet, they filmed some incredible moments. Much of their documentation was fed to the international media and made headlines in September 2007. However, Burma VJ shows uncut versions of those scenes. Some of the images, such as the massive crowds cheering on the monks as they sang Robin Hood-esque songs, brought tears to my eyes. What those journalists did was incredibly brave, and unfortunately some of them lost their freedom in their attempt to tell the truth about Burma. This film is a wonderful testament to their courage.
If you're not as familiar with Burma, you might want to check out Beyond Rangoon, a historical fiction about the 1988 protests, for some background before you go.
If Burma VJ is playing in a theater near you, definitely check it out. Hopefully it will show in a general release or be issued on DVD soon.