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Icarus Film
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provocative documentary films
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From the Fanlight Collection
Karen Refugees: Fleeing Burma’s Forgotten War
From the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
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A courageous band of “backpack medics” slips through the jungle, avoiding army checkpoints, to deliver medical supplies and care to their people, the Karen minority of Burma. The limited services they provide are the only medical care available in this war-torn region.

The U.S. Department of State has recently waived restrictions preventing Karen refugees from seeking resettlement in the United States. The Karen are a Christian ethnic group who have been persecuted for years by the army of Myanmar, the name used by the ruling military junta. There are an estimated 100-150,000 Karen refugees who have fled the country and are now living in camps across the border in Thailand; some have been there for more than 20 years.

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Canada has been accepting Karen refugees for some time, and this documentary looks at the situation inside Burma and Thailand, before following one Karen woman and her family as they leave behind their refugee camp, and embark on the journey from Burma to North America. In addition to the backpack medics, the film also highlights the courageous work of young Karens who risk death to sneak their video cameras across the border into Burma, to document human rights abuses against their people.


21 minutes / color
Closed Captioned
Release: 2006
Copyright: 2006
Sale: $195

Subject areas:
Asia, Community & Public Health, Ethical Dilemmas, Fanlight Collection, Health Care Issues, Human Rights, Southeast Asia

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