The award-winning 2022 documentary film “Myanmar Diaries” is one of three submissions made by the Netherlands to the Academy Awards to compete for next year’s Oscars (Best Documentary Film category). It documents how life in Burma was upended following the 2021 military coup that saw the civilian National League for Democracy government, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, get overthrown and leaders jailed after its landslide election victory in 2020.
The film features personal stories from the Myanmar Film Collective and contains real news footage filmed by DVB reporters on-the-ground following the illegal coup staged by Min Aung Hlaing. In one harrowing scene, DVB’s Aung Kyaw live-streamed his cries as police fired projectiles into his home in Myeik right before he was arrested. Scenes include footage from the anti-coup protests that broke out across Burma which makes this a truly remarkable film.
Sadly, contributors and filmmakers cannot be named due to the country’s rapidly deteriorating press freedom. At least 12 media outlets have had their publishing licenses revoked. Since the coup, 135 journalists have been arrested. Seventy have been released, but 65 are still being held in prison. Among them, 29 journalists have been sentenced to a minimum of one-and-a-half years in prison, and to a maximum of 11 years in prison. RSF (Reporters Without Borders) ranks Burma near the bottom at 176 out of 180 countries in its World Press Freedom Index. The official Oscars nominations for 2023 will be announced on January 24, 2023.