Burma VJ: Reporting From A Closed Country

Monday, Sept. 28 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBC NEWS: THE PASSIONATE EYE on CBC Newsworld.

Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country is a riveting documentary that follows a determined group of video journalists (VJs) who risk their lives to expose the repressive government ruling their country. Armed with pocket-sized video cameras, they go undercover to report on anti-government protests, smuggle material out of the country and broadcast back into Burma via satellite, or offer their stories for free usage to international media. Burma VJ airs on Monday, Sept. 28 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBC NEWS: THE PASSIONATE EYE on CBC Newsworld.

A winner at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and the Amsterdam Documentary Festival, Burma VJ follows these local VJs as they record the massive anti-government protests led by thousands of Buddhist monks in Sept. 2007, and exposes the military junta’s brutal crackdown which began on Sept. 26, 2007.

Viewers will be introduced to 27 year-old “Joshua”, an undercover VJ who suddenly becomes the tactical leader of the undercover reporters who risk death or life in jail if caught. With foreign TV crews banned from entering the country at the time, it was Joshua and his crew who documented the events, exposing the story to the rest of the world.  It is their footage that kept the revolution alive.

As government intelligence agents understood the power of the camera, the VJs soon became a target. During the turbulent days of Sept., Joshua finds himself on an emotional rollercoaster between hope and despair as he frantically tries to keep track of his reporters in the streets. With Joshua as the psychological lens, the Burmese condition is exposed to a global audience, who rarely gets to see more than a news clip from this closed country.

Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country is directed by acclaimed Danish filmmaker Anders Ostergaard.  CBC Newsworld was one of a group of international broadcasters who helped finance the documentary.

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