MEMORY! Festival starts

04 November 2017
MEMORY! Festival starts

Memory! Festival 2017 opened with a bang screening Tin Myint's 1950 classic Pyo Chit Lin that was restored this year.
Woven round two friends come to Yangon for work and their meeting with a beautiful women courted by a police officer, an air force captain and a writer, the film provides a glimpse of the country before military rule.
Three short documentaries were screened - The Clinic, My Grandfather's House and the four minute long 'Next Month'. 'My Grandfather's House', very capably directed by Shunn Lei Swe Yee, makes a lasting impact through the memories of Thakin Htien Win presented by her granddaughter. 
The lovely wooden house, quintessential Burma, is repository of great memories - of independence struggle, of great writers and cultural personalities who visited the house.
Making a telling point that heritage should never be up for sale or commerce, the 14 minute documentary is dedicated to the memory of a Burma by one who has the misfortune to live in a Myanmar that is.
It made me recall Bengal's great film maker Ritwick Ghatak's 'Nagarik' that talks of a resurgent Bengal falling apart in the humdrum of war and partition. The lookback to golden days is common to Bengal, British India's most resourceful province, and Burma. 
The two other documentaries made telling points, the doctor in 'The Clinic' harping on the booksellers of Pansodan that many scholars laud. 
The redeeming feature of this year's MEMORY! Festival is the provocative section on banned films from round the world. That such a section is possible in Myanmar points to the democratic transition the country has undergone since the festival first started in 2014.