Why the people of Burma are risking jail to catch a glimpse of Rambo
Thursday 07 February 2008
Rambo star Sly Stallone may not be to everyone’s taste. But on the streets of Rangoon, people are willing to risk jail just to catch a glimpse of the ageing action hero as he takes on the junta.
Despite efforts by the Burmese authorities to ban the Stallone’s recently released movie, Rambo 4, reports suggest there an underground trade in downloaded versions of the film in which he rescues missionaries from the clutches of the military.
While cinemas are prevented from showing the film, the downloaded version - burned onto DVDs - is being passed around by groups of trusted friends. “Some of the video rental shops have put up a sign that reads ‘ We don't have a copy of Rambo 4 released in USA on January 25’, as many people continue to ask for it,” one Rangoon resident told the Indian-based website Mizzima.
Stallone’s fourth adventure as the action hero was shot along the Thai-Burmese border and features the Vietnam War veteran coming out of retirement to rescue Christian missionaries abducted by the authorities while supplying supplies to the ethnic Karen, who have long been the victims of clashes and attacks from government troops.
While political activists both inside and outside of Burma have celebrated the film for revealing the brutality of the junta, the Rangoon resident said that many people were confused as to whether the film was fictional or portrayed genuine events.
Either way, the 61-year-old actor, who first portrayed the mentally unstable veteran John J Rambo in 1982, recently claimed the film was inspiring people to take action against the Burmese regime and had prompted a backlash from the government. He also said that two of the film’s Burmese-born actors had told him that members of their families had been arrested in apparent retribution for their participation in the movie.
Watch the Rambo 4 trailer
“Either live for something, die for nothing - it’s your choice,” he told reporters. “Students have now used this film as a rallying point and are using the quote, thinking maybe the American military will intervene and save them.”
In true Rambo fashion, he also issued a challenge to the junta. “If they think this movie is a fantasy, I welcome the opportunity to let me come over there and walk around the country without armed guards following me every inch of the way,” he said.
As many as 30 people are believed to have been killed by troops and police last September when tens of thousands of citizens, led by Buddhist monks, held a series of pro-democracy marches in cities across the country. A recent report by Amnesty International said the authorities were still holding at least 1,850 political prisoners, including about 700 arrested during the junta’s crackdown.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...
£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...
£35000 per annum + Pension+Bupa: The Jenrick Group: We are recruiting for an e...