Burma, the dictatorship of the absurd – support the makers

I quite accidentally stumbled upon this great short documentary called Happy World – Burma: The Dictatorship of The Absurd, and was instantly hooked. It’s a bit hard to classify the genre, yes, it’s a documentary but it almost looks like black humor. Except that it’s all true, all real everyday life in Burma.

While it’s not as hard hitting as some other documentaries of the more recent events from Burma, award winning Burma VJ comes to mind, Happy World looks at the absurdities of the military dictatorship that took power already on 1962.

Or as the makers of the movie, Tristan Mendès-France and Gaël Bordier describe it themselves:

The junta has spent the last 40 years cut of from the rest of the world, developing an extreme paranoia and a great propensity towards the irrational. The close entourage of the generals now counts astrologists, numerologists and magicians, who are consulted – and systematically followed – before every major decision is made: the country’s change of name, the relocation of the capital, or major overhaul of the currency, agriculture, traffic management, repression. 
Today, the country lives according to the rhythm of the most absurd decisions – and as always, the people is paying the price for such an insanity.

What really brought the message home for me was the last part about the new capital Naypyitaw, a city built in the middle of nowhere and only the Junta, the military and other people close to the power using it.

Happy World is available for free for sharing and distributing and if you like it then do the good thing, support them on Flattr and hopefully we’ll see more interesting documentaries coming from this duo of Frenchmen.

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