Fighting Invisible Enemies
Languages: English, Burmese
Film 01: English Film 02: Burmese
CLIENT - Geneva Call
BUDGET RANGE - US$20,000+
DURATION - 13min
GENRE - Advocacy, landmines
DIRECTED, SCRIPTED, FILMED & EDITED: Timothy Syrota
An advocacy film seeking to encourage armed forces - both government and ethnic armies - to take real steps in their deployment of landmines so as to mitigate the impact on civilians and civilian livelihoods.
THE DIRECTOR'S GUFF
Hardly ground breaking, but something in which I strongly believe is that we all have a story worth listening to. I have little doubt that this belief has become strengthened by the opportunities my work has afforded me to interview a range of people on a diversity of often fascinating subjects. I approach interviews with few preconceptions and try to give interviewees the time and space they need to feel comfortable to speak freely, telling their personal stories and expressing their opinions. This particular film afforded me the opportunity to interview a particularly fascinating cohort of interviewees, among them a child soldier, a hard core nationalist Tatmadaw soldier, a Lahu medic, a man who had committed a double murder but then lost his leg fulfilling the dual role of military munitions porter and front of column land mine detector (found it!). Maybe it was their irrevocable connection to the subject – landmines – but these were some of the most compelling interviews I have recorded. Interestingly, all interviewees except one (the nationalist) agreed that landmines should never be used in civilian environments, no matter which ‘side’ the civilians were on. Unfortunately, because of the intensely controversial and political nature of the subject, very little of the most compelling / condemnatory material from the interviews made it into the final draft of the script.