New York, NY– They Call it Myanmar: Lifting the Curtain, the historic documentary film shot clandestinely over three years by novelist and filmmaker Robert H. Lieberman while he worked for the U.S. Embassy in Burma, will have its U.S. theatrical premiere on October 19th. This stunning and unprecedented view of Burma offers a unique look at a country that has been off limits to the world for decades. Interviews and interactions with hundreds of people are woven together with rich, poignant imagery of this fascinating land that has been held hostage by a brutal military regime for 48 years. An extensive and rare interview with Aung San Suu Kyi guides the film through the millennia as she narrates the story of her people for the world to hear.
They Call it Myanmar will open on October 19th in New York at Lincoln Center’s new Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at 144 W. 65th St., followed by a nationwide release in select cities.
They Call it Myanmar is an impressionistic journey culled from over 150 hours of striking footage that explores the depth and vastness of Burma, from its vibrant indigenous culture to its revolving door of pre- and post-colonial dictatorships. During Lieberman’s time in Burma working first for the U.S. embassy and then an NGO, he shot footage continually, though it was strictly forbidden – and dangerous. Now his footage forms an unexpected and expressive portrait of a place they call Myanmar, a nation that is a mystery to much of the world.
The film traces the history of Burma (the colonial name of the country, used today by Aung Sun Suu Kyi and other dissidents of the current military junta) from its beginnings in the ancient city of Bagan, through colonial times, through recent uprisings, the devastating Cyclone Nargis that killed 150,000 people, to the present day. As the story unfolds, we see the unique and powerful role Burmese Buddhism plays in the culture and politics of the nation. On the heels of Aung San Suu Kyi’s release from nearly two decades of house arrest and her historic trip to Norway to finally accept her Nobel Peace Prize, the debut of this remarkable film could not be more timely.