Grizzly Weinstein (sea_gaagii) wrote,
Grizzly Weinstein

The Myanmar Harp

"The Myanmar Harp" just doesn't have the same ring to it as "The Burmese Harp". Hearing about the Buddist Monks in Myanmar reminds me of this movie.

"The Burmese Harp", Directed by Kon Ichikawa is about a Japanese soldier right after the end of World War II. Mitzushima and his troop are trying to get out of Burma. He gets separated and sent to speak to a group of holdout Japanese on Triangle Mountain who do not believe the war is over. His job is to convince them to surrender or they will be killed. They do not believe it is possible that the Japanese have lost and do not care either way they will not quit. Everyone except Mitzushima is killed in the subsequent shelling by the British. Mitzushima is injured and nursed back to health at a local Buddhist Monastery. He steals some robes and leaves when he is feeling well enough to go.
As he wanders the countryside looking for his troop he sees all the dead bodies and cannot let the bones of the dead remain unburied. People also mistake him for a Monk and give him food to eat as is the custom there. Throughout his journey he is transformed in spirit from a soldier to a monk. Eventually he meets up with his troop, but decides that his job is healing the country and burying the dead.

It is worrisome that the military leaders might decide to kill the protesting Monks as they have done in the past. Although perhaps this is what the Monks want. This country revers the Monks as a matter of respect and tradition. Also they are mostly made up of the populace. Most of the poor (which is most of the country) become Monks as children as a path to an education.
Of course what can a poor unarmed populace whose dissidents are quickly imprisoned or murdered, actually do. Here is a group of people who would have gladly welcomed liberators, too bad they have no functional oil production (although apparently they used to) and we no longer have any military.

Of course Bush is pushing for economic sanctions. One of the 6,324 things we should have learned in Iraq, economic sanctions do not harm the people in power only the people they have power over.

Here is hoping there are some Monks left when all is said and done to inter the bones of the dead back into the ground.
Tags: world

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