A screening of documentary films about human rights was held at Maha Santi Sukha Buddhist Centre in Yangon on November 23 and 24, organised by director Min Htin Kokogyi.
Five films were screened: “Best-Lah Punk” and “Hak Dinafikan” (Malaysia), “Please Vote for Me” (China), “The Power of the Powerless” (Czech Republic), and “Cowboys in India” (India).
Min Htin Kokogyi said that even though all the documentaries were from foreign countries, he chose films whose subject matter reflected the current situation in Myanmar.
“I think that what I can do to move toward a country that can give everyone an equal chance, is to promote awareness of human rights through the film industry, with which I am familiar,” he said.
“I held this screening to raise public awareness about human rights, and also because I want the public to know the truth about human rights abuses.”
He said he understood that screening documentary films would not eradicate dictatorial politics in Myanmar, but he hoped that it would prompt people to do what they could in their own environment to move the country forward.
One audience member at the screening, teacher Ma Zin Mar, said the films were entertaining and educational, but added that Myanmar audiences are still not familiar with the culture of documentary films.
“While attending the Art of Freedom Film Festival this past January, I noticed that many people in the audience did not really get the message that some of the documentary films intended to give,” she said.
“So we need to raise public awareness about documentaries to make sure the audience gets the message the filmmakers are trying to send.”
Min Htin Kokogyi said he plans to screen the five human rights documentaries in all states and regions throughout Myanmar, in preparation for the Human Rights Documentary Film Festival that he will organise for June 2013.