Lisa DiLillo

Tongues Don't Have Bones: A Journey Into Burma (2001) DVD NTSC, color, 30 min

Genre: Experimental

Keywords: Political / Social Activism

I was born in freedom screaming grew up in the age of fear punned with the Stone Age in my language -- Kyi May Kaung Tongues Don't Have Bones is a journey into Burma (Myanmar), that looks behind the facade fabricated by the current military regime. The video structurally mimics the environment of oppression and censorship which on the surface appears serene and seamless, yet obscures the injustices within. Tongues Don't Have Bones rethinks the literal image/text relationship and creates a palpable tension and discrepancy between the visuals and the voiceovers. The video is collaged with material from disparate sources including; beautiful and mundane visuals of the landscape, people, and rituals; officially sanctioned tourism/propaganda tapes; highly degraded footage of social unrest that was smuggled out of the country; first person accounts ofimprisonment and detention; interviews with representatives of the current Burmese government in exile; and poetry by Burmese dissidents. A prominent voice in the video is the poetry of Kyi May Kaung, whose words reflect on the synchronicity of beauty and terror. She is a Burmese writer based in Washington, D. C. who also produces a weekly program for Radio Free Asia exposing human rights abuses. Tongues Don't Have Bones engages an alternative approach to documentary making. Instead of creating a structure which includes an omniscient voiceover or talking heads, the video is constructed with 'neutral' images of the countryside. There is a slow revelatory process that occurs when the initial tranquility and seductiveness of the visuals are ruptured by image fragments depicting political violence, and by disturbing contradictory stories. These elements eventually permeate the videoscape. Tongues Don't Have Bones reflects on the duplicitous nature of representation, as well as prompts the viewer to consider the devastating consequences of decades of military rule. So now they've got exactly the kind of men and women they wanted to follow them through fire and water to die for them They will say black is white and white is black it is not difficult for such people after all we know tongues don't have bones -- Kyi May Kaung

Rental: $50.00
DVD NTSC Rental: $40.00

DVD NTSC Sale: $65.00

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