Fragments: Burmese Identities In Between

Expired February 27, 2023 12:00 AM
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Streaming 13 - 26 February 2023

A programme of contemporary Burmese cinema focusing on the search for self and new ways of belonging

The military coup in Myanmar has disrupted many pillars of selfhood for Burmese people. Yet in between the fragments of crisis, new experiences and identities can be formed.


Who are we to our families, communities, and to ourselves? Who are we without the places and people that once defined our lives? Through delicate and difficult journeys of self-reflection, these films are connected by their testament to the intersectional ways that Burmese people navigate identity, home, family and grief. To complement the films, we will host a poetry reading contemplating the fragments of one’s identity, and a live conversation between the poets and filmmakers contributing their perspectives to the questions raised in the programme. 


Together, the films and conversations in this programme seek to explore the spaces in between and the dilemma of not quite being just one thing.

ပုလဲ Pearl Fedele, programme curator


How to watch the event

Tickets for this programme are free, but we invite and encourage donations, which will go to Salween (သံလွင်), a non-profit fundraising group that supports participants of the Civil Disobedience Movement in Myanmar, as well as refugees and internally displaced persons. You can find out more about their work and donate here.

This event is available worldwide. The film programme will be available to watch from 13-26 February, with the poetry readings available from 15 February and the roundtable discussion available from 6pm GMT on 22 February.

Please use the menu on the right-hand side (or above on mobile) to explore the programme.

You can keep up to date with future events on the Cinema of Ideas by joining our mailing list.


Saeed Taji Farouky. Photo credit: Layla Tosifi

Season Introduction

In this written introduction to the season, Palestinian-British award-winning filmmaker, artist, and educator Saeed Taji Farouky contemplates the Palestinian and Burmese people’s shared experience of exile and fractured identity.

Read it here


Film Programme

သူစိမ်းသုံးယောက် Three Strangers

(2021, dir. လမင်းဦး Lamin Oo)

On the western coastline of Myanmar, a queer couple and their adopted son build an unlikely family and navigate the complexities of belonging. Gwa To, a charismatic transgender man, and Ma Soe, his reserved but straightforward wife share their unconventional love story and the hurdles in creating their family. A touching and boundary-pushing story of negotiating one’s identity amidst societal reproval, multi-generations of parental sacrifices, and finding home in the people you love.

Watch Three Strangers

This Kind of Love

(2015, dir. Jeanne Hallacy)

After 24 years in exile, Burmese human rights and LGBT activist, Aung Myo Min returns home to Myanmar. Despite recalling his difficult youth during the military dictatorship and the sacrifices made by him and his family, Myo’s longing for home and eagerness to rejoin his country is a testament to the power of one’s sense of identity and belonging. Showing an insight into the lives of LGBT individuals in Myanmar and set against the country's historical transition from half a century of brutal military rule, Myo shares his vision for equality for all - from children to transgender people to ethnic nationalities with his countrymen, to be part of his homeland's emergence from the darkness of dictatorship.

Watch This Kind of Love

တောင်ကျချင်း Underneath My Chin

(2020, dir. ဆောလ်ချမ်းထူးဆံ Saul Chan Htoo Sang)

While studying abroad, a Chin student attempts to make a documentary about the Chin refugee community in the Czech Republic. In the process, he ends up wrapped up in questions of his own ethnic identity and faces the disparities of how he is perceived by those around him. An introspective examination of how we define who we are, if we can at all.

Watch Underneath My Chin

မြစ်ဘယ်မှာဆုံး Where The River Ends

(2023, dir. ထက်အောင်လွင် Htet Aung Lwyn)

A soldier carries his lover’s body through a journey of self-reflection as he experiences the consequences of loss on one’s sense of self. With dream-like sequences and musings, this visual poem explores grief and loss through two thematically intertwined journeys, expressing the unspoken heaviness that never seems to lessen and the grief that never seems to subside.

Watch Where The River Ends


Poetry Readings

Available from Wednesday 15 February

Three distinct diasporic poets contemplate the fragments of their identities, the weight of memories, and individual interpretations of grief. A collection of poems about longing, searching, and redefining ‘home’.

Read written versions here:

Watch the poetry readings video


Roundtable Discussion

Available from 6pm GMT, Wednesday 22 February

Pondering the effects of conflict on one’s sense of self and finding solidarity through this experience, the featured poets and filmmakers discuss their work in relation to the theme of identity and belonging, and contribute their perspectives to the questions raised in the programme. 


  • Saeed Taji Farouky is a Palestinian-British award-winning filmmaker, artist, and educator. His 2021 documentary A Thousand Fires about the unregulated oil fields of the Magway region of Myanmar is a powerful meditation of family ties and a source of contemplation on the parallel experiences of the Palestinian and Burmese people.

  • Yasmin Ullah is a Rohingya human rights activist, poet, and Board Chair of ALTSEAN Burma. Born in the Northern Rakhine state of Myanmar, her family fled to Thailand when she was a child, and she remained a refugee until moving to Canada 16 years later. In 2021, Yasmin was named on the FemiList 100 by the Gender Security Project. 

  • မခြင်္သေ့ Ma Chinthe is a Burmese writer, essayist, poet, and anthropologist from Yangon, currently residing in the traditional, ancestral, and historical meeting point of the Apache, Comanche, Sioux, Cherokee, Iroquois peoples.

  • လမင်းဦး Lamin Oo is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, director, and producer of independent film production house Tagu Films, best known for uncovering the untold human stories of Myanmar. In 2016, Lamin received The Power of Film Humanitarian Award given by FilmAid Asia for his documentaries.

  • ဆောလ်ချမ်းထူးဆံ Saul Chan Htoo Sang is an emerging filmmaker from Yangon. Saul’s films explore themes of identity, loss of mother tongue, incompleteness, and śūnyatā.

Watch the roundtable discussion


About the Curator

ပုလဲ Pearl Fedele is a Burmese poet and emerging film programmer based in London. Born in Yangon and raised between Asia, Africa and Latin America, she is captivated by stories that attempt to untangle the complexities of identity and belonging. She has worked in film festivals across London and has a masters in Global Media from SOAS. With a desire to expand her sense of belonging as well as facilitate storytelling, Pearl is committed to highlighting queer stories and Burmese voices through film and poetry.



All the films are available with English subtitles and English descriptive subtitles. The recorded poetry readings and roundtable discussion will be available with English descriptive subtitles.

If you have any queries regarding the accessibility of this event please email us:


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