Living in Fear: The Life of an IDP Family

Introduction to the film written by Burma Issues:

In February 2010, the organization Burma Issues conducted a field trip inside Karen State to raise internally displaced persons’ (IDPs) awareness of the upcoming elections in Burma. While they were watching a video, the township where the IDPs were staying was attacked by the Burmese army. They had to flee into the jungle and our cameraman decided to follow.

He became particularly interested in one family – a grandmother, 2 parents and 4 young children – who have endured permanent displacement for 3 generations. For 4 months he became deeply involved with them and managed to film an intimate portrait of their daily struggles. He then returned after a period of time to assess if their lives had improved. They hadn’t.

As the family had to leave all of their possessions behind their life is now a cyclical nightmare. Every time they manage to build a hut for shelter, or manage to plant a basic crop, they have to flee from violence. Soldiers and landmines ensure that returning is out of the question. They manage to keep on building new shelters but never manage to make a home.

Although shot in eastern Burma, this video highlights the plight of the countless millions of IDPs across the country who have to contend with extreme violence, food shortages and a lack of access to health care and education.

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