This is a film about two comedians joined by comedy, separated by repression. Maung Thura, better known as Zarganar, is Burma’s greatest living comedian. Relentlessly victimised by the Burmese military junta, he is now in prison for a ‘reduced’ term of 35 years. Michael Mittermeier, in stark contrast, is free to practise his art of humour and provocation as one of Germany’s leading stand-up comedians. Travelling secretly with a small team, Mittermeier tries to explore the personality, motivation and the talent of the man who describes himself as the ‘loudspeaker’ for his people. But will Mittermeier and his team be arrested or deported before they get any closer to the prison where Zarganar is held in Myitkyina, northern Burma?
[director]Rex Bloomstein, born in Devon in 1942, began his career as a documentary director with the BBC in 1970 with cinema verité – All in a Day – studies of British life. Exposing realities of prison life and addressing previously unscrutinised aspects of British penal system, he has made films such as The Sentence, Release, Prisoners’ Wives, Parole, Lifers, and Strangeways which won two British Academy Awards: best documentary series and best single documentary. Bloomstein has also been highlighting human rights abuses through films such as Human Rights, Roots Of Evil, Torture, Prisoners of Conscience, and An Independent Mind, to name a few.[/director]