We’re just innocent tourists, yes?
Gael Bordier and Tristan Mendes France made a 2009 documentary about Burma, a country ruled by a repressive military regime. When Burma (also known as Myanmar) opened their borders, the two men entered posing as tourists and secretly made a satirical documentary. Since they couldn’t film openly as journalists, they used various subterfuges to get their footage.
The documentary they made is called Happy World – Burma: the Dictatorship of the Absurd. In the video below, they talk about the deceptive techniques that allowed them to make their film.
Shooting Happy World
Watch the complete documentary at their site: Happy-World, here>>
Some political context:
Since its independence in 1962, the people of Burma have been living under the oppression of a dictatorship and both the democratic opposition and the ethnic minorities have been crushed by constant repression.
The 1988 protests have been suppressed in blood, and many monks paid the saffron revolution of 2007 with their lives. On top of this, the disastrous management of the crisis caused by hurricane Nargis that struck the country in may of 2008 – killing 100 000 Burmese – deprived over a million victims of the disaster from international relief up to this day.
Symbol of the opposition against the regime, Aung San Suu Kyi, awarded the 1991 Nobel Prize for Peace, has been constantly hassled by the authorities since the 1990’s. The junta has spent the last 40 years cut of from the rest of the world, developing an extreme paranoia and a great propensity towards the irrational. The close entourage of the generals now counts astrologists, numerologists and magicians, who are consulted – and systematically followed – before every major decision is made: the country’s change of name, the relocation of the capital, or major overhaul of the currency, agriculture, traffic management, repression.
Today, the country lives according to the rhythm of the most absurd decisions – and as always, the people are paying the price for such an insanity.
Read more about their project at Happy world: The absurd dictatorship in Burma, Owni.eu>>
– Happy World – Burma: the Dictatorship of the Absurd>>
– Burma, CIA Factbook>>
– Burma, Wikipedia>>