See this 2011, Sundance film selection, The Last Mountain by Bill Haney. Here’s more on the film presented by Awake and Engage(d) documentary series:
Thursday, March 1st, we are proud to present a special session of Awake and Engage(d) examining Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining. It may be no surprise that AwAE has wanted to feature Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining for some time now. It is an important and complex environmental issue. We are pleased to bring a bold film on the subject to our campus. The film is “The Last Mountain,” and it argues that the battle for a single mountain in an Appalachian valley affects most Americans while exhibiting just how Big “Big Coal” is. AwAE is pleased to welcome special guest host Sara Coffman, UTC Lecturer in English and Appalachian activist, who has been in contact with the group Appalachian Voices. Information about Mountaintop Removal can be found on their websites: www.appalachianvoices.org and www.ilovemountains.org. Information follows.
Note: as the series is growing, seating is often limited at our sessions. Admission is free (thanks to our generous sponsors). Hope to see you there; please email me with any questions.
The Third Annual Awake and Engage(d) documentary film series created and hosted by Mike Jaynes and Andrew Najberg continues at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga this week. Najberg said that his interest in the country was sparked through reading George Orwell’s 1930′s story about Burma, “Shooting an Elephant.”
When: Thursday, November 11th at 5:30 p.m.
Where: Raccoon Mountain Room
Film to be screened: Burma VJ: Reporting from a closed country
Host/Discussion Leader: A.Najberg
“Burma VJ: Reporting from a closed country” hosted by A. Najberg, will be screened on Thursday, November 11th at 5:30 p.m. in the Raccoon Mountain Room. Admission is free.
Director Anders Østergaard presents us with “Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country,” a documentary which follows the 2007 uprising in Rangoon where Buddhist Monks led a mass protest in the hopes of freeing their imprisoned, democratically elected president Aun Yang Suu Kyi. Following a series of protests over economic instability that culminated in brutal bloodshed that left over 3000 peaceful protesters dead, President Aun Yang was elected in May of 1990 in the countrys first election in 30 years. Despite an overwhelming majority vote for Aun Yang, the SLORC, the nations military regime, nullified the election and placed President Aun Yang under house arrest, where she has languished for the last 20 years. After seventeen years, the people of Burma rose up in the protests covered during this film despite a massively restrictive and violent military government.
Perhaps the most interesting aspects of this documentary are the nearly insurmountable obstacles it faces in making itself a reality. Burma is a media closed country. It is illegal to photograph or film within its borders anything that might be considered damaging to the government or its authority. Held together by narrator Joshua’s patient and compassionate voice and edited in a safe haven in Norway, the voices of Burmas undercover reporters are brought to us through the use of cell phone cameras and digital video cameras, always at the peril of the photographers life. As a result, Burma VJ lets us glimpse into the repression faced by an often overlooked nation whose thirst for justice and freedom reaches us in the faintest gasps.
Run Time: 84 minutes
Aung San Suu Kyi’s house, seen across a lake from 500 metres away – the closest most people can get to her. Photograph: Nyein Chan Naing/EPA
The above picture was found in an article from the Guardian about the democratically-elected Prime Minister who remains under “house arrest” in Rangoon.
As a Nobel Peace Prize recipient in 1991, editors of the Nobel site have put together a biographical timeline of Suu Kyi’s life here. This is how Nobel editors describe 1945:
Aung San Suu Kyi born in Rangoon, third child in family. “Aung San” for father, “Kyi” for mother, “Suu” for grandmother, also day of week of birth.
Suu Kyi’s father, the commander of the Burma Independence Army was assassinated when she was two years old. This event along with the tragic death of her favorite brother at a young age no doubt set her up for the course her life would take.
Here’s an article about the first election held in Burma in 20 years by the BBC. Zoe Murphy of the BBC reports about Suu Kyi,
“On Burma’s most significant day in 20 years she too will remain locked up in her home and prison – just where the junta wants her.”
When: Tuesday, October 19th at 5:30 p.m.
Where: UC Auditorium
Film to be screened: “King Corn” and “Big River” (A King Corn Companion)
Topic: The ecological consequences of industrial agriculture
Film Website: www.kingcorn.net
Host/Discussion Leader: M. Jaynes
Shown in conjunction with: The Third Annual Jaynes-Najberg Awake and Engage(d) Documentary Film Series
“Awake and Engage(d)” Founder, Mike Jaynes writes about this Film Series:
AWAE, a monthly colloquium, will screen socially conscious documentary films with the aim of fostering a renewed interest in some of the most pressing issues confronting the graduates of our university in the future. As mainstream media too often ignores the voices of “others” on the periphery and quashes the message of the marginalized, AWAE provides a forum for documentarian narratives that interrogate the status quo and offer alternative perspectives that encourage sustainability, preservation and participation. The films chosen for this series place an emphasis on the civic responsibility of individuals by demonstrating some of the dangers facing the environment, animals, economies and civil rights in the not-so-distant globalized future. So, this year, please join us at AWAE to discover the work of documentarians advocating social and ecological justice in the modern world.
Mike Jaynes, English, continues building a national reputation in the animal rights and advocacy field. Already an internationally published animal advocacy writer, he continues to contribute to the humanities as well with the following twelve essays, interview, and four speaking appearances placing publications in national outlets such as ABCNews.com, National Public Radio, The Washington Post, and Dissident Voice
ATSUSHI FUNAHASHI directed “Big River” and he says about this film:
Big River is a metaphor of America. As tiny currents gather together to become the Rio Grande, people feed into America from all over the world. The title also reflects my aspiration to make a profound but simple film as the cannon of Western films used to do.