Friday, September 08, 2006

Beyond Rangoon

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I watched one of my old favorites, John Boorman's Beyond Rangoon, last night on IFC. Patricia Arquette plays a doctor (Laura Bowman) who is suffering through grief from the murder of her husband and young son. Laura is on vacation with her sister in southeast Asia when she looses her passport and has to stay behind. Laura gets caught up in the 8888 student uprising for democracy in Burma and the resulting massacre. She flees to the Thailand border with her tour guide and several students. In her inner suffering and personal search for peace, Laura finds strength in the outer suffering and political struggle for peace that is going on around her. She finds the will to live again when she ends up volunteering as a doctor at a Red Cross medical camp for refugees on the Thai border.

The movie was notable for showing the true story of the struggle of the people of Burma (also called Myanmar) for democracy and the bravery of Aung San Suu Kyi who was freely elected as the Prime Minister, but never permitted to take office by the military. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, and remains under (illegal) house arrest to this day.
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Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

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