Inside Burma: Land of Fear
This film, by legendary documentary film maker John Pilger, chronicles the secret story of Burma, a country with a population of close to 45 million. Burma was once known as the Golden Land, and on the surface everything appears serene; it’s a country of extraordinary beauty and gracious people. However, Burma is also an isolated country that was under the rule of a brutal dictatorship that lasted from 1962 until 1988. There were thirty-four years of misery and civil unrest.
Burma is now one of the poorest countries in the world in spite of the natural riches it possesses. This turn of fate was done deliberately and consistently.
Of all of history’s megalomaniacs, Ne Win was probably the only one who ruled with astrology and superstition. During his dictatorship he eliminated most of the Burmese currency and replaced it with bank notes that either included the number nine or added up to nine. This was his favorite number, according to his chief astrologer. Due to the fact that most people kept their savings in cash, most of them were ruined. This caused the country to become impoverished and vulnerable to a host of abuse they have been trying desperately to cover up under foreign investment and tourism.
More than a million people were forced from their homes, thousands were massacred and many others were submitted to modern forms of slavery that included the use of shackles. Amnesty International called Burma a ‘prison without bars’.
The Burmese dictator stated clearly on national television that if anybody protested against his government, they would be killed. He wasn’t joking.
In March of 1988, hundreds of students walked peacefully on the causeway known as ‘The White Bridge’ while they sang the national anthem. The army followed them and many were beaten to death, others were chased and drowned in the lake, and some were piled into a van and left in the noonday sun where they suffocated to death.
In August of 1988, in a matter of days, the government killed close to ten thousand Burmese who were protesting against the regime. There were no television cameras present and the outside world found out very little about what was going on.
Distressing incidents of injustice, torture, rape, and other atrocities went on in Burma for decades while the world turned a blind eye. The witnesses still remember, though and they share their painful stories. Watch this film now.