HEART FOR FREEDOM:
The Karen and the World's Longest War
Abandoned POWs in Vietnam
This film (55 minutes) is a documentary about the indigenous Karen People and their struggle for freedom in what has become the world's longest ongoing conflict. Since World War II the Burman Government has waged a brutal war against the ethnic Karen people.The story unfolds with a village in Karen State being rebuilt in 2010 after being burned to the ground by Burman soldiers a few months before. We follow Major General Nerdah Bo Mya of the Karen National Defence Organisation (KNDO) as he takes us on a journey through Karen State, amid the tangled web of war and geopolitics, that has engulfed the region. The film also documents the 2012 reunion of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) with the Karen National Union (KNU) after a internal split that occurred in 1995. Since the elections in 2010 the Burman Military maintains control of the government and is basically a military mafia hell bent on exploiting the ethnic people. The Karen people must however, hold strong and defend their people and ancestral lands from the Burman government which seeks to enslave not only the Karen people but all the ethnic populations of Burma. The film was shot over a period of 6 years in Karen State.
NOTE: While this film does not exactly fit into the genre of South East Asian Ethnic Peoples it draws similar parallels as to how global powers treat their allies (and particulary relevent for the Montagnards of Vietnam). This film (1 hour 47 minutes) is the true story of Robert Garwood and the abandonment of US Prisoners of War (POWs) in Vietnam. Hundreds of US POWs were abandoned during the Paris Peace talks in 1973 by Henry Kissinger and President Richard Nixon. In 1979 Bobby Garwood shocked the world when he surfaced after being a POW for over 13 years, bringing details of hundreds of other prisoners being secretly held in Vietnam. After the war Vietnam even allowed PLO terrorists to interrogate US prisoners and to date these American POWs have not been accounted for. Over the years Senators John Kerry and John McCain would become accused as being the main 'cheerleaders' for covering up this betrayal including discrediting Bobby Garwood. The film documents Bobby's story in his own words, how he escaped via a black market operation and witnessed the brutality inflicted on him, other POWs and (both North and South) Vietnamese people in communist Vietnam's horrific re-education camps.
KNDO JUNGLE DOCTOR:
Dr. Sabine in the Jungles of Karen State (Mu Aye Pu Village)
Episode One: Karen Village
Episode Two: The Orphan Bears of Mu Aye Pu
Episode Three: Caves and Bears