Soe Moe Aung
Germany, Myanmar (Burma), 10 min
Insein Railway Station lies on the Yangon Circular Railway, in Myanmar. It is not far from the infamous Insein prison. First-time director Aung Soe Moe composes a carefully crafted portrait of the daily activities that surround the railway station. Like in a small minimalistic musical piece, he weaves the distinctive rhythms of the place together. At first glance, it looks like the different gestures are disjointed from each other. But as the train gets closer and closer it becomes clear that it all builds up to a harmonic rhythm pattern. Through this kind of narrative and observational structure, the director manages to portray the hopes of a country that is struggling to achieve a better tomorrow. Like a work from the silent era of film, Insein Rhythm manages to make a deeply articulate political statement through its BusterKeaton-esque structure. The station and the (unseen) prison are the metaphor of a contradiction: movement and stillness. The rhythmic pattern thus becomes the unspoken hope for a collective work that is bound to provoke changes in Burmese society.
Giona A. Nazzaro