8.0/10
2,274
15 user 52 critic

Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country (2008)

Burma VJ: Reporter i et lukket land (original title)
Trailer
2:29 | Trailer
Using smuggled footage, this documentary tells the story of the 2007 protests in Burma by thousands of monks.

Director:

Anders Østergaard
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

GasLand (2010)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An exploration of the fracking petroleum extraction industry and the serious environmental consequences involved.

Director: Josh Fox
Stars: Josh Fox, Dick Cheney, Pete Seeger
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

"The Most Dangerous Man in America" is the story of what happens when a former Pentagon insider, armed only with his conscience, steadfast determination, and a file cabinet full of ... See full summary »

Directors: Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith
Stars: Peter Arnett, Ben Bagdikian, Ann Beeson
Jesus Camp (2006)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A documentary on kids who attend a summer camp hoping to become the next Billy Graham.

Directors: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady
Stars: Mike Papantonio, Lou Engle, Becky Fischer
Food, Inc. (2008)
Documentary | News
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An unflattering look inside America's corporate controlled food industry.

Director: Robert Kenner
Stars: Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Richard Lobb
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A documentary that details the creation of Julian Assange's controversial website, which facilitated the largest security breach in U.S. history.

Director: Alex Gibney
Stars: Julian Assange, Adrian Lamo, John 'FuzzFace' McMahon
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A documentary about the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall.

Director: Alex Gibney
Stars: John Beard, Tim Belden, Barbara Boxer
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A new speech teacher at a school for the deaf falls in love with the janitor, a deaf woman speechless by choice.

Director: Randa Haines
Stars: William Hurt, Marlee Matlin, Piper Laurie
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Film-maker Werner Herzog travels to the McMurdo Station in Antarctica, looking to capture the continent's beauty and investigate the characters living there.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog, Scott Rowland, Stefan Pashov
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

"Which Way Home" is a feature documentary film that follows unaccompanied child migrants, on their journey through Mexico, as they try to reach the United States. We follow children like ... See full summary »

Director: Rebecca Cammisa
Chasing Ice (2012)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Follow National Geographic photographer James Balog across the Arctic as he deploys time-lapse cameras designed for one purpose: to capture a multi-year record of the world's changing glaciers.

Director: Jeff Orlowski
Stars: James Balog, Svavar Jónatansson, Louie Psihoyos
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A redemptive tale of an aspiring rap artist surviving failed levees and her own troubled past and seizing a chance for a new beginning.

Directors: Carl Deal, Tia Lessin
Stars: Michael Brown, George W. Bush, Julie Chen Moonves
Documentary | Animation | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Danish director Mads Brügger and Swedish private investigator Göran Björkdahl are trying to solve the mysterious death of Dag Hammarskjöld. As their investigation closes in, they discover a... See full summary »

Director: Mads Brügger
Stars: Mads Brügger, Göran Björkdahl, Clarinah Mfengu
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
George W. Bush ... Himself (archive footage)
Ko Muang Ko Muang ... Himself
Aung San Suu Kyi ... Herself
Edit

Storyline

Using smuggled footage, this documentary tells the story of the 2007 protests in Burma by thousands of monks.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

monk | burma | fear | arrest | network | See All (19) »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site [Japan] | See more »

Language:

Burmese | English

Release Date:

9 January 2009 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Burma VJ See more »

Filming Locations:

Burma See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,554, 24 May 2009

Gross USA:

$51,672

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$123,477
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Narrator: We have do rely on handicamns. But the things we did with theses things could shook up the people of Burma, as well as the people around the world.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 82nd Annual Academy Awards (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: Burma VJ
16 July 2009 | by DICK STEELSee all my reviews

To create that sense of realism, tension and excitement even, the fad nowadays is for filmmakers to employ the use of the nausea-inducing shaky cam. For the multiple, independent video journalists in Burma documenting instances of oppression and suppression, crying for the attention of the outside world, it's not a technique used for vanity or stylistic reasons, but one stemming from sheer necessity. One can imagine if one is caught with a video camera recording street arrests and such, where the penalty would likely be endless interrogation, to put it mildly, and probably being conveniently forgotten.

"Joshua" and his crew from DVB – Democratic Voice of Burma – a group of clandestine journalists operating from within Burma, had plenty of footage that they manage to smuggle out of the country, either through online means, or trusted couriers, where news networks had used to tell of the plight of street protesters in September 2007. Utilizing small consumer cameras hidden in bags and whisked in and out for clips lasting seconds, you can feel that real sense of danger that these folks go through just to get actual ground conditions to the outside world.

Director Anders Østergaard had assembled various clips from that fateful event where the monks took to the streets, which for days an unexpected non-response from the military government provided that spark of optimism that change was coming. For those familiar with the aftermath from that affair, watching this on hindsight made one feel a little saddened even, because we know what would be coming up next. With some moments re- enacted and spliced together with actual footages, Burma VJ became a riveting documentary where the draw is having to become a witness to what's happening on the ground being in stark contrast to official state media's interpretation, and perhaps to think about how an event as this one shouldn't be allowed to just fade away.

And the footages are nothing short of amazing, astounding, and shocking even. There was a progression of sorts technically, probably stemming from collective courage of the masses where temporal point-and-shoot strategies gave way to lengthy unflinching recordings. From the journalists' first hand accounts as seen through their viewfinders, we take to the streets with them in a "people power" movement, even going right up to the villa where Aung San Suu Kyi was held under house arrest, appearing to greet the monks. We also get a sense of how the military's strength in numbers were called upon to cordon off areas and provided a standoff with their weapons locked and loaded, and executions at point blank were all caught on camera, from grainy digital zooming of lens watching from afar.

In some ways, the film progressed as per how the movement gained momentum, in a slow brew of relatively smaller demonstrations to a frenetic charge toward large masses, before night time raids and arrests of the protesting monks led to a systematic fizzling of drive and ultimate dispersal, and the flight for cover, as the DVB journalists had to lay low following crackdown by the secret police. For the superstitious as the military junta is touted to be, there's a quick mention of Typhoon Nargis too, which I recall when it struck had many tongues wagging that it was a celestial response to what was done to the monks, here in a scene that I've never seen, a lifeless body floating on a river with a cracked skull.

Burma VJ is a powerful documentary, and I do urge anyone who has the chance to watch this, to give it a go.


12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed