I Am Golden Karen

  • Runtime85 min
  • DirectorMaui Druez & Preben Verledens
  • GenreDocumentary
  • Released2018

Written by MAUI DRUEZ  PREBEN VERLEDENS I Camera & Sound MAUI DRUEZ  PREBEN VERLEDENS I Original Music SIMON CARLIER I Edited by BEPPE LEONETTI I Sound Edit & Mix  RAF ENCKELS I Produced by STEVEN DHOEDT

A co-production with CANVAS

Supported by FLANDERS AUDIOVISUAL FUND I FONDS PASCAL DECROOS


“Victims of the past are not hindrances, but essential parts of Burma’s future”

The Karen people are one of the biggest ethnic minorities in Burma. For centuries they have lived a simple life in the green, mountainous Karen State, where they lived off the fertile soil.

When the British colonists left Birma about 60 years ago, the Burmese government started suppressing the ethnic minorities. A horrible conflict broke loose that escalated into the longest guerilla war on Earth. The violence forced many Karen to flee and cross the border with Thailand over the years.

Thousands of them started working in the Thai border town Mae Sot or in the capital Bangkok. Many of these migrant workers are still teenagers. Often sent by their parents who see it as an opportunity to pay off the family’s debts.

Since a couple of years it seems as if Burma is once again opening it’s borders, although not always for the noblest of reasons. Chinese and Japanese multinationals confisquate the land previously owned by the Karen and use it to build factories or rubber plantations. The Birmese government reap the benefit of the renewed international attention and do everything they can to attract new investors.

At the same time there have never been better prospects for migrants in Thailand. Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Prize winner, was the big winner in the first democratic elections at the end of 2015. This would be the first time for her to exercise actual political power after years of house arrest. But the question remains if ethnic minorities will benefit from these hoped-for changes.

I AM GOLDEN KAREN tells the story of Thaawa, a young Karen rapper, who is part of an entire generation that has grown up as second-class citizens in Thailand, but nurtures a strong desire to return to their motherland.

screenings

  • 09/05/2020 00:00 Toronto
  • 12/01/2020 21:55 CANVAS
  • 11/10/2019 18:00 One Step Film Forum - Yangon, Myanmar
    • 2018
    • MOOOV Film Festival
    • World Premiere
    • 2018
    • London Migration Film Festival
    • International Premiere
    • 2019
    • One Step Film Forum Yangon
    • 2019
    • Freiburger Film Forum
    • 2019
    • Ethnocineca Vienna
  • Runtime85 min
  • DirectorMaui Druez & Preben Verledens
  • GenreDocumentary
  • Released2018