In 2011, Myanmar (the former Burma) emerged from 50 years of military dictatorship, but the country is still licking its wounds over five years later. The new documentary “Burma Storybook” explores the history of post-dictatorship Myanmar through Burmese poetry, the most popular art form in the country, specifically the work of poet and activist Maung Aung Pwint, who has spent large swathes of life his prison. Director Petr Lom captures Pwint’s story, from political exile to the reunion with his son, as well as a portrait of a country in transition, a new world that still leaves much past injustice intact. Watch the exclusive trailer for the film below.
A former academic turned filmmaker, Lom has previously directed four feature-length documentaries: “On a Tightrope,” about the Uighur people, the Muslim minority population that live in northwestern China; “Letters to the President,” about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s relationships with the people he governs; “Back to the Square,” about the state of Egypt a year after the Tahrir Square protests and “Ana Ana,” about the inner worlds of four young creative Egyptian women.
“Burma Storybook” will have its world premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam on Friday, January 27 at 8 p.m. The film will also screen on Saturday, January 28 at 2:30 p.m. and will feature a post-screening conversation in collaboration with Poetry International, and will screen for a final time on February 1 at 3:30 p.m.