Legendary filmmaker Maung Wunna dies

The renowned Burmese film director and writer Maung Wunna has died at his home in Rangoon after a yearlong battle with lung cancer.

The 63-year-old, who was due to celebrate his birthday next week, had written more than 20 novels and directed nearly two dozen films during a career in which he won two Burmese Academy Awards.

He won Best Director for his first film in 1970, ‘Kattipa Hpanat See Shwe Htee Saung’, which translates as ‘Wearing velvet shoes under a golden umbrella’ – a Burmese term for prosperous living.

“Well I’m very sad for my father’s death. But I am proud of him,” said his son, Pyay Zin.

Maung Wunna’s death comes seven months after that of his younger brother, Thu Maung, also a well-known writer and actor. His father, Thar Du, was also a film director.

Burma’s film industry dates back to around 1910. Following the 1962 coup that heralded the start of military rule, the industry has been subject to increasingly restrictive censorship laws, and films are now rarely political in their nature. Film stars deemed politically active, such as Aung Lwin and Tun Wai, have been banned from appearing in films.

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