Myanmar: An Uneasy Alliance
Commissioned by Al Jazeera, People and Power
“Reported by local Kachin and Karen journalists, this film takes us far from the urban street protests in Myanmar to the lesser-known rural border areas and gives viewers incredible access to the largely unknown story of secret military training camps. A wholly new view of Myanmar’s struggle that suggests it is far from over, and that there may be surprises ahead.”
-News Features Award Jury
When Myanmar’s military regime ended its flirtation with the representative government in February 2021, it marked the moment by killing several hundred anti-coup protesters and detaining thousands more – including Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Prize-winning leader of the National League for Democracy. Now some activists are taking a more aggressive approach to the Tatmadaw, as the country’s armed forces are known. They have been heading to remote jungle regions to seek support from armed ethnic organisations, which have been waging their own on-off war with the Myanmar military leaders for decades.
The local crew gained exclusive access to a Kachin military training camp where ethnic insurgents on the border regions of Myanmar have been fighting the regime for decades. Now they are training pro-democracy protestors from the mainland in military tactics. Will this alliance be a new force to take on the new regime?
Tuja Kareng grew up in Kachin State, Myanmar. He graduated from Mandalay University and then studied at the Myanmar Institute of Theology. He has no formal background in documentary filmmaking, but has worked for seven years as an interpreter and has assisted many foreign journalists. This was his first project as Director.
Hkun Li is a Documentary Photographer/Filmmaker from Kachin State, Myanmar. He was the first Kachin photographer to become active in documentary work when he began in 2011 after the civil war broke out in Kachin State. He started shooting independent projects to highlight ongoing and unsolved issues in Myanmar such conflict, internally displaced people, environmental issues, human trafficking and the role of agribusiness in social inequality. He has worked on assignments for the BBC, DAA, Trocaire, KOIKA and CRD and has won two awards at Yangon Photo Festival.
Edward Win is a freelance documentary filmmaker from Myanmar. He currently lives in Thailand and works as a media trainer. He also shoots for Earth Mission Asia as a freelance videographer and travels to remote areas of Myanmar to highlight important issues, especially in conflict areas in Karen State. He trains teams in Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, Thailand and Burma to produce music videos and educational films about human trafficking and drug abuse.