FORT WAYNE, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter)--WE AMERICANS, ESPECIALLY HERE IN FORT WAYNE, KNOW A LITTLE ABOUT THE BURMESE REFUGEES SEEKING PEACE AND SAFETY ON OUR SHORES. WE EVEN KNOW SOMETHING OF THE MILITARY DICTATORS THEY FLED FROM, WHO USURPED POWER IN BURMA FIFTY YEARS AGO AND RUN THE COUNTRY WITH AN IRON FIST. FOR MOST OTHER MATTERS HOWEVER CONCERNING THIS COLORFUL AND TROUBLED CULTURE, WE AMERICANS ARE MOSTLY IN THE DARK.
IRISH FILMMAKER NIC DUNLOP IS TRYING TO SHED LIGHT ON THE VERY CLOSED BURMESE SOCIETY THROUGH HIS FILM ‘BURMA SOLDIER’, WHICH PREMIERS ON HBO NEXT YEAR. IT TELLS THE STORY OF THIS MAN, MYO MIHNT..A BURMESE SOLDIER AT AGE 17 WHO WITNESSED THE MURDER, RAPE AND TORTURE THE BURMESE ARMY INFLICTS ON ITS OWN PEOPLE. HE LOST A LEG AND AN ARM TO A LAND MINE DURING HIS SERVICE. AFTER THE ARMY MYO JOINED THE PRO-DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT. WHEN HE SPOKE OUT AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT AT A PRO-DEMOCRACY RALLY MYO WAS IMPRISONED AND TORTURED FOR 14 YEARS. THROUGH HIS TRAGIC STORY FILMMAKER DUNLOP IS TRYING TO UNCOVER HIDDEN TRUTHS ABOUT PERVERTED POWER.
Nic: How is it that an army can retain power for so long with such brutality and still exist? It’s easy to understand the victim and it’s easy to empathize with the victim. But I think what’s really important if we’re serious about preventing these kinds of atrocities again is that we actually understand the world of the perpetrator.
DUNLOP IS WRAPPING UP FILMING IN FORT WAYNE THIS WEEK, FINISHING HIS STORY ON MYO MINHT. AFTER HIS RELEASE FROM PRISON MYO ESCAPED TO AMERICA, TO FORT WAYNE, REUNITING WITH A BROTHER HE HAD NOT SEEN IN 20 YEARS. HE LIVES AMONG US NOW, STILL FIGHTING TO FREE HIS COUNTRY…AWAITING THE DAY HE RETURNS TO A FREE BURMA.
Myo: I can do here whatever I want, I can go wherever I want. I can write what I want. As for me this is a great experience for me but for my people who live inside Burma, they are oppressed. If and when our country changes political system, and then I must go back to my country.
ERIC OLSON REPORTING OUT IN YOUR COUNTRY.
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