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Art as a Weapon: New Doc Focuses on Burma's Saffron Revolution, Shepard Fairey

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik November 17, 2011 at 9:07AM

"Art as a Weapon," a new feature documentary about the intersection between street art, Buddhism, and the struggle for Democracy, has just launched its Kickstarter campaign. The film promises to offer a peek into the lives of Burmese school children learning how to use spray paint, Buddhist monks who write poetry, and street artist Shepard Fairey creating a three-story mural in support of Burma.
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Art is a Weapon

"Art as a Weapon," a new feature documentary about the intersection between street art, Buddhism, and the struggle for Democracy, has just launched its Kickstarter campaign. The film promises to offer a peek into the lives of Burmese school children learning how to use spray paint, Buddhist monks who write poetry, and street artist Shepard Fairey creating a three-story mural in support of Burma.

Fairey's 30' tall Burmese monk image, painted in director-producer Jeff Durkin's neighborhood in San Diego, inspired the project, embodying the intersection of three very unique and seemingly unrelated elements, according to a press release: street art, Buddhism, and human rights.

Durkin also recorded Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's first phone call to the U.S. after her house arrest to a group of UC Berkeley students. "That's where art and politics collided for me," Durkin said.

The film is trying to raise $30,000 in 60 days to send a team of filmmakers to the Thai/Burma boarder. So far, they've received nearly $5,000. It seems like a worthy effort.

This morning, coincidentally enough, I also received an email about another Burma-related doc called "God's Army: The Real Story," which is using IndieGoGo to raise awareness and money.

According to IndieGoGo, this is how the project is described: "When child soldiers successfully fight genocide in Burma they become legendary, but once they give refuge to radicals who seize an embassy their success ends."

Director Joe Hill White's university thesis project, “Prayers from Kawthoolei” featured the reunion of two friends separated by civil war in Burma and played on Southern California PBS stations from 2005-2007.