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When Americans think of Burma – also known as Myanmar – the first person who comes to mind is the iconic opposition leader: the Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. Just last week the government sentenced her to another 18 months under house arrest for the “crime” of allowing an uninvited visitor into her home. President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton have demanded Aung San Suu Kyi’s release.
The U.S. recently renewed economic sanctions against the country. But WIDE ANGLE’s film isn’t about superpower sanctions or world famous democracy advocates. Eyes of the Storm is a rare account from inside Burma that tells the story of orphans left to fend for themselves after Cyclone Nargis slammed into the country last year.
On May 2, 2008, the Category 4 cyclone made landfall on Burma’s southern coast. Winds of 130 miles per hour raged all night, and storm surge drowned much of the Irrawaddy Delta in over 12 feet of water.
Whole villages vanished, at least 130,000 people died, and two million were left homeless, making Cyclone Nargis the worst natural disaster in Burma’s history. Among the survivors were thousands of children orphaned or separated from their parents.
Eyes of the Storm follows several orphaned children as they struggle to rebuild their shattered lives after Cyclone Nargis. Among others we meet 10-year-old Ye Pyint who is now a surrogate father to his younger brother and sister; they live in a makeshift hut in what remains of their village. We follow Min, the 16-year-old who is the sole survivor from his family and is now trying to live as a monk in a Buddhist monastery miles away from his devastated home. continue
Eyes of the Storm