A special film will be shown at The Cube cinema to mark the second anniversary of the military coup in Myanmar, which has claimed 19,000 lives and left millions homeless.
Myanmar Diaries, showing at 7pm on Wednesday, March 1, portrays life under the new regime through the personal stories of a group of 10 anonymous young Burmese filmmakers known as the Myanmar Film Collective.
Since the military seized power in Myanmar on February 1, 2021, activists in the country have staged protests and organised underground resistance. In consequence, as many as 15,000 people have been imprisoned and two activists have been executed by the regime.
Zunetta Herbert, a Bristol-based activist of Burmese heritage, said: ‘For the first time since independence from UK, people in Myanmar have a fighting chance of overthrowing the military, but they receive no attention and no support. Bristol has a long history of supporting justice, and recognising our collective responsibility for our colonial past: Bristol needs to stand up for Burma.’
Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, won freedom from British rule in 1948. A military coup in 1962 brought to an end a brief period of democracy. Since then the country has been subject to military rule in one form or another.
A landslide victory for the National League for Democracy in 2020’s elections promised change for Myanmar. However, shortly afterwards the military declared the vote fraudulent and staged a coup, arresting President Win Myint and installing Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Min Aung Hlaing as the national leader.
Stephen McNamara, a former Bristol City Council legal officer and a volunteer worker in Myanmar, said: ‘The Ukraine war is rightly in the headlines, but the fate of 54 million people in Myanmar is just as urgent as they face mass murder by their own military. In my time in Myanmar I was welcomed by young students desperate for knowledge of the outside world and to know how the law works in democracies. Now their democracy is dead.’
The film screening is organised by Bristolians from the With Myanmar Facebook group to raise awareness and fundraise for groups in Myanmar.
There will Burmese street food for sale to raise money for good causes in Myanmar and the film will be followed by a Q&A with a leading Myanmar activist.
Tickets for the event can be purchased here.
Feature image: Myanmar Film Collective.