10 Mar A story to melt your heart
One of the most rewarding things of having Burma Storybook out in the cinemas is to hear from the audience how they are touched by the film, and in particular by the stories about the poets. People we have not even met email us to ask questions and provide feedback. And sometimes even more. Here are two stories from viewers who decided to reach out.
While visiting Myanmar last year to visit their backpacking son, a couple from Maastricht fell in love with the country. They visited a screening of Burma Storybook and sent us an email: asking why in the film the son (Nyein Chan, who visits his parents for the first time after being exiled in Finland for twenty years) says to his father (Maung Aung Pwint, the most famous dissident poet in the country) that he will not only be able to visit once. We wrote back, saying this is mostly due to the costs – Nyein Chan has a family in Finland and cannot afford to travel due to the expensive ticket prices. So the Maastricht family immediately reacted, and offered to donate money to buy a plane ticket for Nyein Chan – so he could visit his family once more. We are so grateful for this enormously generous gesture. We have now started to make travel arrangements and to apply for a visa, so we can reunite the Burmese family once more.
Another generous donation was made by a cinema visitor in Groningen, who transferred a sum of money for us to bring to the AFPP Association of Former Political Prisoners on a next visit. The work of the AFPP is seen in Burma Storybook through poet/artist San Zaw Htway. As a former political prisoner, he is involved with them as a counselor to help fellow former political prisoners in a trauma healing program. A very important organization, considering the fact the government does not provide for any psychological assistance or transitional justice initiatives.