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DANCING WITH DICTATORS
Classification: Exempt - Ronin Recommends: PG
Runtime: 80 min
Produced In: Australia
Directed By: Hugh Piper
Produced By: Helen Barrow
Language: English + English subtitles
Ross Dunkley is a mix of pragmatism and idealism: he is a free speech warrior prepared to do business in a country dominated by the dead hand of the military dictatorship. Originally, influential liberals supported Dunkley's newspaper because they wanted reform but four years later a hardline crackdown saw his colleagues jailed and Dunkley hanging on by his finger nails.
Set against the background of the country's first election in 20 years, DANCING WITH DICTATORS is an observational documentary about Burma from the inside.Those outside the country see the election as a sham - for many inside the country, including the paper's journalists, this is an opportunity they cannot afford to turn their back on – a chance for a step towards democracy no matter how limited.
The film was made with considerable risk to the filmmakers and to the participants. The film-makers' presence during the election does not go unnoticed and four days after the vote they are deported, focussing attention on Dunkley. Shortly afterwards the hardliners strike again and Dunkley is arrested and charged with immigration offences linked to an alleged assault on a woman. He spends seven weeks in Burma's notorious Insein prison before being granted bail and appears in court over 20 times. Once free, he remains committed to regaining control of the newspaper and continuing the fight for freedom of speech in a country he has grown to love.
DVD includes a 30 minute interview with the director, Hugh Piper.
"A gripping film of intrigue, espionage and frustration" - Cris Kennedy, Canberra Times.
Follow this link to read the Sandra Hall's review in the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD 8/12/11 - www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/nononsense-account-of-editor-under-siege-in-burma-20111207-1oj1y.html
Follow this link to read THE AUSTRALIAN article on Dancing With Dictators -
Follow this link to read the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD article on Dancing With Dictators -
- Click here to download DANCING WITH DICTATORS press kit (PDF 935.1 kb)
1 DANCING WITH DICTATORS main image
Chris Davey Senior Photographer and Tom Keen Editor English language edition The Myanmar Times
DANCING WITH DICTATORS title art
Facing camera: Zaw Myint( L) Editor Myanmar Language edition and Tom Keen(r) Editor English
language edition interviewing a candidate on election day
Filming with Ross Dunkley and newspaper staff on Election Day 2010
Front page of The Myanmar Times - censored copy
Hugh Piper- Director and Helen Barrow Producer/Camera
Myo Myo - journalist
Printing The Myanmar Times in Yangon
Producer/ Camera: Helen Barrow. Director: Hugh Piper
Ross Dunkley, holding Myanmar Times newspaper outside of Phnom Penh office Cambodia July 2011
Ross Dunkley and staff at The Myanmar Times office Yangon
Ross Dunkley escorted to court 2011
Ross Dunkley surrounded by media after final court appearance June 30 June 2011
Ross Dunkley with Dr Tin Tun Oo (center right) and senior management of The Myanmar Times
Ross Dunkley with senior management from The Myanmar Times
The Myanmar Times - front page
The Myanmar Times copy censored by Press Scrutiny Board 2010
The Myanmar Times office -Yangon
Tom Kean: Editor English language edition, The Myanmar Times