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Lines of Fire (1990)


Brian Beker


Brian Beker
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Opening Night film for 1991 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Annual Documentary Series. Premiered at Museum of Modern Art in New York. Won Gold Award at Chicago International Film Festival. Screened at Berlin, Vancouver. Had to be dubbed from American into Australian for broadcast on Aussie TV. See more »

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Intelligent documentary on the civil war in Burma circa 1990
3 March 2012 | by runamokprodsSee all my reviews

Intelligent, fascinating and informative, if slightly dry, and arguably too short (62 min) for its complex subject.

This examination of the amazingly complex civil war in Burma (now Myanmar) does a solid job of explaining to an uninformed American like myself what was going on there and why.

Director Beker, despite warnings, snuck into war torn areas of the country to interview the under armed rebels and students fighting for democracy, and the war lords, who sell much of the world's opium and heroin to arm themselves to protect their own interests, wherever they might lie (sometimes with the rebels, but its clear their only real allegiance is to themselves.)

American policy towards the situation is revealed as woefully hands off or wrongheaded considering the brutality of the dictators, and the aims of the students, which would seem to align with those of the U.S. (i.e. a stable open democracy). Instead, we supplied the dictatorship with planes and tons of agent orange like chemicals to destroy the poppy fields, but specifically eschewed any watchdog role. So it's not surprising that the government decides a better use of the planes and chemicals is to spray the rebel areas; their crops, their livestock and the people themselves.

The film does end abruptly and I still wish I understood more of the various forces and histories at work. But certainly it was a lot more information than most American media had published. I read the paper every day, and most of this had never really been on my radar.

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Release Date:

1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ombre su Los Angeles See more »

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