Release Date: January 3rd, 2007 (Film Forum) by BrunoFilms.
Directed by Ellen Bruno.
In English, Burmese, Thai, Nepali and Tibetan with subtitles.
BASIC PREMISE: Three short documentaries about different cultural social conditions in Thailand, Burma and Tibet.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Sacrifice, with a running time of 50 minutes— the lengthiest of the three short films—follows young Burmese girls who travel to Thailand where they become prostitutes. Just like in the recent documentary, Highway Courtesans, these prostitutes are forced into prostitution in order to have money for basic survival. In fascinating interviews, the girls describe their initiation process, unhealthy living conditions as well as the spread of STDs. Even when the police arrest them and send them to jail, pimps buy the healthy ones back to start prostituting again. Director Ellen Bruno simply allows the Burmese girls to explain precisely what goes on in their troubled life which begs for social change. In Leper, with a running time of 25 minutes, Bruno documents the impoverished conditions of people who suffer from leprosy in a Nepalese village. More information about the disease would have helped to make this particular documentary more fascinating and informative. Bruno does manage to humanize the lepers through interviews which stress how much these people suffer because of this chronic disease. At a mere 15 minutes, the final short film Sky Burial just documents the Tibet ritual which involves monks tearing skin off of human corpses as offerings to vultures, as if bringing the souls into heaven. In contrast to the other two short films, Sky Burial mostly relies on images without interviews, but by comparison, it’s just as discomforting and shocking to watch.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Although Bruno doesn’t offer solutions regarding how to change any of these social conditions, she does highlight the necessity for change without being remotely preachy.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 1
IN A NUTSHELL: Shocking, discomforting and fascinating.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "S" Menu