The war between the Burmese military regime and the country’s ethnic minority groups has continued for more than 60 years. The approximately 150,000 ethnic Karen people that have taken refuge on the Thai-Burma border have lived in camps since 1984 to this day. Fighting among the Karen themselves has begun as well. “Why doesn’t this war end?” We searched for insights to this question in the daily life of the children living in the camp. Our reporting placed us with the children, and in their schools, for extended periods.
In September 2010, Japan will begin Asia’s first ‘third country resettlement program’, as it begins to grant permanent asylum to war refugees. We hope that this view on the Karen camp life will be useful in creating mutual understanding between cultures.
Dah Ler Htoo (14 years old, sixth grade) is a Karen boy, born in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. His desire was to become a soldier and fight for the Karen people, but shortly before entering junior high school, he said that he wants to be an American soldier. He gradually comes to be tossed around by the waves of the market economy that wash over the camp.
William (29 years old), an ethnic Karen teacher, was born inside Burma but migrated to Thailand when he was 12. He holds Thai citizenship, but decided to enter university inside the camp. With his strong belief that independence for his ethnic group depends upon education, he remained in the camp after graduation, teaching English. During the new year, he makes his first trip into Burma to deliver aid to internal Burmese displaced people. What does he see on this trip…?
Born in 1970 in Ibaraki, Japan. After graduating in 1997 from Washington State University with an MA in Communications, she joined Asia Press International. She has been living in Thailand since 1999. Her first feature-length documentary, [Yesterday Today Tomorrow](2005) was invited to several film festivals including the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival 2005, and won the prize at the 2006 Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival. Her second feature-length documentary [Path of Anna~ Yesterday Today Tomorrow 2] which is supported by Pusan International Film Festival, made its world premier in October 2009 simultaneously at the Pusan Film Festival and Yamagata Film Festivals. Presently, the director is working on a new film in Bangkok, while preparing for the releases of the previous and current work [OUR LIFE].
Production Company: Asia Press International
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