Pearl Tears on the Silver Screen: War Movies and Expanding Burmese Militarism in the Early Independence Years

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    The early years of Burmese postcolonial independence (1948) saw a tremendous expansion of the Tatmadaw (Burmese Armed Forces) predicated on an ongoing civil war and the Kuomintang ‘incursion’ in the northeastern Shan State. The same years comprised the beginning of the so-called ‘golden age’ of Burmese cinema. Amidst films of various genres, historical fiction war films glorifying Burmese soldiers and peasants as heroes, and constructing archetypes of enemies to the country’s independence marked an important shift from earlier colonial-era nationalist films which had sought to reclaim Burmese sovereignty by harking back to the grandeur of prior Burmese dynasties. Instead, while war experiences are homogenized and enemies are stereotyped, national heroes were now created as part of a post-independence political milieu.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSoutheast Asia on Screen: From Independence to Financial Crisis (1945-1998)
    Editors Gaik Cheng Khoo, Thomas Barker and Mary J Ainslie
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam The Netherlands
    PublisherAmsterdam University Press
    Pages75-92
    Edition1st
    ISBN (Print)9789048541904
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

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