Netherlands 2010, 1h 10min. | USA 2011, 1h 40min. | 2010, 58min.
Myo Myint was a soldier serving for the suppressive military regime in Burma. The documentary Burma Soldier was screened recently at IDFA. In the film, Myint talks about how the soldiers harassed and raped women from ethnic minority groups – as to be expected as one’s “daily meal”. He turned against the regime, helping to organize political protests together with Aung San Suu Kyi. He also established a library with forbidden books. This man, who had already lost one leg and parts of his arms in the military, was now imprisoned for fifteen years. He was put into isolation, tortured, hit so hard that his teeth cracked, and put into a plastic can – excruciatingly painful for an amputee. After serving his sentence he was under surveillance but managed to escape to Thailand, and from there to the US – where he still protests against the Burmese military regime; a regime where a general can use an amount comparing to three health budgets on his daughter’s wedding, as is seen in the film.
A country doesn’t have to be named Burma to be suppressive or use torture.
Another impressive documentary and winner of the Jury Price at IDFA was You Don’t Like the Truth – 4 Days inside Guantánamo, which is based on surveillance videos released from Guantánamo. The interrogated young Canadian man Omar Khadr, who at fifteen was visiting Afghanistan and was waiting with some of his father’s friends in a house when they were attacked by American special soldiers. One American was killed, and Khadr is charged for it. But that sounds very unlikely – the film shows an archive photo of him unarmed, lying almost dead in the dusty ruins.
We follow in the film the psychologically gruelling interrogation over four days by Canadian intelligence cooperating with the US at the American base. His innocence is confirmed by interviews with his cellmate, his lawyer, one Canadian military prosecutor and government officials, a psychiatrist and an investigative journalist. But he had to confess to the charges, to have any hope of coming out of prison within his lifetime.
Login to continue...You have now read 4 free articles this month, so log in if you are a subscriber,
or please click here for subscription (3 euro/month) to read all articles.