MYANMAR UNVEILED is an emotional journey into a country (formerly known as Burma) that was sealed off from the international community for over 60 years by a brutal military dictatorship. Now entering the modern world following surprising reforms in 2011 – greater freedom of press, the opening of trade with the international community and the release of many political prisoners – its fate hangs in the balance as civil war and ethnic cleansing stain the progress of the pro-democracy movement.
Seen through the eyes of prominent pro-democracy leaders, many of whom had just been released from prison or returned from exile in the 2012 amnesty, the film catches up with a country undergoing major transformations politically and economically. Our witnesses express the wish for the spirit of peace and reconciliation to prevail during their country’s tumultuous transition from a military regime to quasi-democracy.
Despite the optimism of recent elections, a pall hangs over the country as ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya (a Muslim population) is carried out by the Burmese military and nationalist Buddhist monks. The reluctance of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi to speak out against these horrors, as well as a tightening of the press once again, has diminished the joy of the 2015 elections where Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy gained a majority in Parliament. Unfortunately, the military still maintains control over the most important sectors of government.
Myanmar stands at a critical juncture and the well being of its people hangs in the balance. Time will tell if recent developments mark the first steps toward real democratization and national reconciliation, or if the influence of the military and its cronies will prevail.
Michael Henry Wilson and Carole J. Wilson have always been deeply interested in the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation. They see Myanmar Year Zero as the third part of a trilogy: In Search of Kundun exemplified the wisdom of the Dalai Lama; Reconciliation: Mandela’s Miracle celebrated Nelson Mandela’s brilliant statesmanship; now Myanmar Year Zero will illuminate the spirit of peaceful revolution as embodied by the 88 Generation and thousands more who have worked selflessly towards peace and reconciliation.
To learn more about the British colonization of Burma and its tragic legacy, click on this red link.
THE LEGACY OF COLONIALISM