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32 Souls

Documentary Film
26 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Lindsey Merrison (Yangon Film School)
Say Naw Kham
Nay Linn Htun
Say Na Kham
Sai Naw Kham
Soe Arkar Htun
There’s a belief in Myanmar that every person has 32 souls, but that we must call them back time and again. This film is both the portrait of a woman nearing the end of her life who lives alone in a humble cabin in the forest, and an invocation of the spirits of the past of a country devastated by war and loss. The observant, poetic flow of images is frequently interrupted by a ghostlike subjective camera – representing the wandering souls.

Lars Meyer
International Programme 2016
In Exile Tin Win Naing

After having filmed the protests in 2007, the Burmese filmmaker is forced to leave his country. In Thailand he meets migrant workers and documents what it’s like to survive in a foreign country.

In Exile

Documentary Film
72 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Yasmin C. Rams
Tin Win Naing
Derek Baird
Tin Win Naing, Aung Ko Ko
Melanie Sandford
Ivan Horak
This is the kind of image we need! Not produced by news agencies or reporters rushing to the next hot spot, but by documentary filmmakers who live there – like the Burmese filmmaker Tin Win Naing, who filmed the violent attacks on protesting monks during the saffron revolution of 2007. The consequence: he was forced to leave the country overnight.

Here, where most stories end, Tin Win Naing’s story begins: in exile. What does it mean, to be saved? From off-screen the director talks in detail about the loneliness and the deprivations he suffers as an illegal refugee in Thailand – not knowing how to survive, let alone take care of the family he left behind. But being a documentary filmmaker also means retaining your curiosity and attention for others even in a strange land. They become his most important capital. He meets Burmese migrant workers in whose struggle for survival he sees a reflection of his own life. As he starts to portray them his self pity turns into humility and exile into an experience that will henceforth determine his view of the world. Where there’s poverty there’s also empathy, and fighting for justice gives you strength. Thanks to his unsparing honesty, including with himself, Tin Win Naing has achieved a film that fills a big word with life: humanity.

Cornelia Klauß