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Myanmar/Burma: Censors pull film from human rights festival

22 June 2016

twilight over burma
Myanmar’s film censorship board banned the film ‘Twilight over Burma’ on the grounds that it could “harm ethnic unity” and the “image of the military” as it tells the real-life story of an Austrian woman who married an ethnic Shan prince during the early days of the country’s independence and 1962 military coup, reported The Irrawaddy on 15 June 2016.

“We were worried and afraid that unnecessary problems could arise because of this while we are working on achieving national reconciliation,” deputy chairman of the ministry Thida Tin told AFP.

The foreign-produced film was set to screen at the opening of the annual Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival on 12 June 2016 and is the first time the Film and Video Censor Board banned a film under the new democratic government that took office in 2016.

“Banning the film does not help reconciliation. Censoring the truth is harming reconciliation,” human rights campaigner and festival jury member Igor Blaževič said. ”Honest recognition about the [wrongdoings] which have happened before – and which are still happening – will do much more for reconciliation.”

The film tells the story of Austrian woman Inge Eberhard and her marriage to prince Sao Kya Send, and their life together in the Shan State until the military coup in 1962. That year the prince was detained by the military and mysteriously died in prison.


Sources

» BNI – 17 June 2016:
Banning Shan prince film is “irrational” says his nephew Khun Tun Oo

» The Nation – 16 June 2016:
Myanmar censors ban movie at human rights film festival

» BBC – 15 June 2016:
Twilight over Burma: Myanmar censors pull film from festival

» The Irrawaddy – 15 June 2016:
New govt, old censorship laws: Film about Shan prince banned as threat to ‘ethnic unity’

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