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Another IFFB review: Burma Soldier

 


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BURMA SOLDIER

70 MINUTES | SOMERVILLE THEATRE MAY 1 @ NOON| ALSO BROADCAST ON HBO2 ON MAY 18

As shown in Nic Dunlop, Ricki Stern, and Annie Sundberg’s taut, compelling documentary, Burma is a beautiful country, with mist-layered landscapes and otherworldly temples. Other images, though, reveal the horrors of tyranny and civil war. Myo Myint served in that war; as a restless teenager he joined the Burmese Army and was sent to the frontlines. There he fought for the military dictatorship against ethnic rebels until he was maimed in a mortar attack. Years later, in a refugee camp on the Thai border, missing an arm and a leg and most of his fingers, he recalls the army’s atrocities, the torture and gang rapes and executions. But the blast that maimed him also converted him to work for peace and democracy. Inevitably, the regime arrested him; he was tortured and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Myo Myint relates his tale with a calm clarity all the more wrenching for its restraint, and the filmmakers do it justice with their skill and compassionate detachment.

_Peter Keough

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