03/04/15 8:21am
03/04/2015 8:21 AM |

     return to burma

Return to Burma (2011)
Directed by Midi Z
A restless young man (played by Wang Shin-Hong) bears a dead co-worker’s ashes from Taiwan back to their birth country—known officially today as Myanmar—then tries to create work opportunities for himself and others there. “My motivation for making this film was very simple,” says Midi Z (with translation by La Frances Hui) of his neorealist debut feature, which will screen with his 2014 short The Palace on the Sea. “I wanted to explore the human condition resulting from ten years of drastic change in Burma, with the country’s first general election in two decades present as a backdrop. At the time, I felt like the film’s protagonist, wanting to return home to work but not knowing how to begin. The people he meets are my friends and family members doing things that they do in their everyday lives. My personal experiences lie behind all my films—the differences are in techniques and contexts. Return to Burma is a personal essay; its follow-up feature, Poor Folk (2012), is like an untamed horse, free and wild; the feature after that, Ice Poison (2014), is a painstaking fable. Throughout them I try to express common global conditions of helplessness, displacement, and separation.” Aaron Cutler (Mar 7, 5pm at the Asia Society’s “Homecoming Myanmar: A Midi Z Retrospective”)