The spirit of peace and reconciliation is put to test during the tumultuous transition from a military regime to democracy in Myanmar. Our documentary will be catching up with the country as it undergoes major transformations both politically, economically and spiritually. It will address the surprising reforms made by President Thein Sein in 2011 that inaugurated greater freedom of press, the opening of trade with the international community, and the release of many political prisoners in 2012.
The documentary is conceived as an engaging journey into a country entering the modern world following a century of colonization by the British and the subsequent take-over by a military junta that still holds sway despite recent reforms.
Filmmakers 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 Aung San Suu Kyi, Zarganar, and their many compatriots.
President Thein Sein recently acknowledged the momentous shift: “As we undertake reforms, my position towards democracy has become firmer.” He added, “We are in the midst of an unprecedented period of transition, from military to democratic government, from armed conflict to peace, and from a centralized economy to a new, market-oriented economy.” (Time magazine, January 2013).
Time will tell if these developments mark the first steps toward real liberalization and national reconciliation, or if the vice-grip of the military and their “cronies” will prevail.