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Rec Room: Joel Whitney: Burma VJ

Joel_Whitney-small.jpgFor those of you still cramming to see the Oscar films the day after the ceremony, make sure to see the riveting documentary, Burma VJ. (It was nominated for Best Documentary, which The Cove won.) Burma VJ is the story, through smuggled footage, of Burma’s 2007 protests against the dictatorship. It’s one of those works where the process of making it is as extraordinary as the film itself; the reporters risked their lives (some were arrested and disappeared) to tell this story and they record in real time things you never see: soldiers killing a journalist then lugging away the evidence, a chief of police caught scheming to suppress the footage, citizen courage boiling over in impassioned chants on the streets. It’s not playing in many U.S. theaters anymore. But you can watch it here (consider a donation to the Democratic Voice of Burma, who made the film possible) or buy it here (in the UK).

Bio: Joel is a founding editor of Guernica. His last article, an interview with Noam Chomsky, appeared in Guernica’s November 2009 issue. Read his last recommendation of Madison Smartt Bell’s Toussaint Louverture “here”:

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