16 October 2023
Above and Below the Ground
The official press release for Above and Below the Ground can be found here.
Above and Below the Ground depicts the Indigenous women activists and punk rock pastors leading Myanmar’s first country-wide environmental movement. When the Myanmar army and a Chinese corporate giant force Indigenous Kachin people off their ancestral land to build the massive Myitsone Dam, grandmother Lu Ra stands her ground. We see her struggle to save the sacred confluence and build a movement, mentoring young female law student Hkawn Mai. A Kachin punk rock band made of pastors, BLAST, also takes action, transforming their love songs into protest anthems. Our film follows these individuals through their journey of activism, from their underground beginnings during Myanmar’s military junta rule, to supposed “democratic” reforms and a sudden military coup. During such periods of fledgling democracy and dictatorship–in Myanmar and globally–our film asks how ordinary people can use the power of music, community organizing and women’s leadership to challenge authoritarianism.
The in-person portion of GETSEA’s Simulcast Film Screening of Above and Below the Ground will be held at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, where Director Emily Hong and Producer Maggie Lemere will hold a discussion following the screening. Twenty other universities will screen the film simultaneously and join the discussion via Zoom.
A production of Rhiza Collective In Association with Ethnocine Collective
Director & Director of Photography: Emily Hong
Produced By: Maggie Lemere, Ja Nang Tsen, Emily Hong
1 May 2023
Dragon for Sale
Dragon for Sale documents the Indonesian government’s “10 New Balis” development project in Eastern Indonesia and presents a critical look at attempts to turn Flores and the Komodo Islands into an international tourist destination. The documentary film highlights the darker side of the project’s history, including catastrophic environmental degradation and multiple human rights violations as local populations are forced out of their ancestral homes to make way for resorts and restaurants. The film showcases the resistance movements of local communities striving to create alternative tourism development and conservation plans through an indigenous framework of human-animal kinship and coexistence.
The official trailer for Dragon for Sale can be found here.
The in-person portion of GETSEA’s Simulcast Film Screening of Dragon for Sale was held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where Researcher Cypri Dale and Producer Greg Afioma held a discussion following the screening with other filmmakers joining via Zoom. Eight other universities screened the film simultaneously and joined the discussion via Zoom.