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Beyond Rangoon (Region 2) (import)

Patricia Arquette , Frances McDormand , John Boorman    DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Patricia Arquette, Frances McDormand, U Aung Ko, Spalding Gray, Victor Slezak
  • Directors: John Boorman
  • Format: Import, PAL, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003Y6JNTG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 163,803 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Danish Edition, PAL/Region 2 DVD: Subtitles: Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, English. When Dr. Laura Bowman (Medium's Patricia Arquette) arrives in Burma (now Myanmar) shortly after a devastating family tragedy, she is swept up in more sorrow: the government's 1988 crackdown on the rising pro-democracy movement. Trapped by the turbulence around her and hampered from leaving with her fellow travelers due to a lost passport, she is compelled to flee into the jungle countryside toward safety in Thailand. It's a journey of terror and hope for those in flight. For Laura, it's also one of discovery. By aiding others, she finds her own redemption from pain.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very real, without being disturbing 1 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Having a casual converstaion about the government and politics in most parts of the world is as normal as converstations about the weather. Except in Burma, where saying the wrong things can lead to torture and death. Members of my family have been very much affected by the horrors that the Burmese people have to endure under the current regime. I saw this film when it first came out, and although I knew just what was going on, it hit me very hard. I found it very well acted, very real, and very true. Not many people may know, but one of the men in the movie plays himself and in real life has been exiled from Burma. No one can ever really know what it is like to live under these conditions, never knowing if, working overseas, you will be able to go home and see your family, and at what cost. Although this movie focuses on the view of a foreigner, the struggle of the natives was very well portrayed. I have given the movie 5 stars because of the way the truth was portrayed, the beautiful scenery, and the great acting, even though there is no way for a viewer to know the depth of shame and fear that the Burmese people live in everyday. I liken Beyond Rangoon to Schindler's List, in the way it provokes emotions from deep down, that we never knew we could feel, and in the way that it doesn't put any frills on the truth that it portrays. I would recommend this film to anyone who seeks truth. If you enjoyed watching Schindler's List, and films like it, then you will most probably enjoy Beyond Rangoon.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Moving Story 13 Jan 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Based on actual events, this film is a quietly moving portrait of a young woman numb with grief and a country fighting for democracy. The film works on both levels due to the deft direction of John Boorman, an understated performance from Patricia Arquette, and a wonderful score by Hans Zimmer that sets the mood for the entire film.
The film opens as Arquette and her sister, nicely played by Frances McDormand, are taking a tour down a beautifully scenic river in Burma. We learn immediately that Arquette has been brought there by her sister to forget, something she has been unable to do. We see in flashback Arquette walking in on her husband and young son, murdered during a robbery. It is something that has left her numb to everything and Patricia Arquette conveys this deadened state of the heart perfectly, letting us know with just a look the tremendous pain just below the surface, emotions so strong she dare not feel them. She has walked away from her life as a doctor because she can not heal her own pain.
Boorman shows us a visually beautiful country that like Arquette has deep emotions just below the surface. One night in her hotel room she hears a demonstration in the streets and is drawn to it, able to observe firsthand the power of democracy as one woman fearlessly calls for democracy in the midst of soldiers sent to stop her. But these are her sons and brothers and she bravely walks to them and lowers their weapons.
Dr. Laura Bowman (Arquette) becomes involved in this struggle for freedom when she is separated from her sister and forms a friendship with an elderly teacher and a group of young students who are seeking change. She learns of the government crackdown that has cost many their lives, as soldiers have fired into crowds of demonstrators.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By L. Todd
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Beyond Rangoon [1995] [VHS]

A carefully considered work of drama, providing the viewer with a realistic insight into the situation of Myanmar (Burma)and the difficulties of living when you are not part of the government 'machine'.

A sense of palpable fear abounds in this movie, but thankfully there are some lovely touches of humanity that shine through when all else, it seems, has failed.

Brief reference to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at the beginning, as a 'scene-setter'.

Beyond Rangoon [1995] [VHS]
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  62 reviews
58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important but unappreciated 18 April 2003
By Zossima - Published on Amazon.com
Patricia Arquette stars as a tourist vacationing in the country of Burma. Why someone who had just lost her husband and son to murder would vacation there is beyond me. But let's not quibble about something that is minor compared to what is a sweeping and powerful qwest for freedom.
The qwest for freedom in the movie is for Arquette, her Burmese friends, and for the Burmese people. Arquette is unwittingly dumped by Fate into harm's way, only to rediscover her own inner strength. The Burmese people have been living in harm's way for years under a brutal military regime. It takes all the inner strength they can muster to make it through each day. And for those who are truly brave, there may be opportunities to escape into Thailand.
I won't go into detail on the plot. Suffice to say that I was greatly moved by the stories in the movie. I verified the horrible life faced by the Burmese people after watching this movie. I didn't know. We in the West live in ignorance of such horrifying human rights abuses. Burma's struggle is not on the news every night. These people largely suffer in silence.
The movie probably tones it down quite a bit. The Burmese army routinely enscripts and brutalizes child labor to build roads (often for Western companies). The army routinely rapes women in villages around the country. And the army has systematically murdered adult men, particularly any man even thought to be in opposition to the dictatorship. Burma experiences the depths of evil everyday.
We owe it to ourselves to watch such movies. They remind us of what man is capable of and what we must overcome. They remind us of the power we have to overcome. And they remind us to be thankful for the freedoms we in the West enjoy.
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A River of Grief 16 Sep 2005
By Bobby Underwood - Published on Amazon.com
Patricia Arquette is excellent as a young woman numb with grief who slowly comes to terms with being left behind after her husband and young son are murdered in their home during a robbery. When she travels to Burma to vacation with her sister, Andy (Frances McDormand), she finds a country in as much pain as she is and slowly finds the purpose she so desparately needs. Based on actual events, John Boorman deftly weaves on a large loom the fine thread of Laura Bowman's intimate story with the thicker yarn of a country fighting for democracy.

Laura (Arquette) and her sister, Andy (Frances McDormand), are on vacation in Burma, two American tourists enjoying a boat ride down a beautifully scenic river in Burma. Laura has been brought here by her sister in the hopes it will help her move forward after she has lost everything she loved. Though Laura seems stoic, there is tremendous pain just beneath the surface, emotions so strong she dare not let herself feel them. She has walked away from her life as a doctor because she could not heal herself and is drifting on a boat of sorrow.

Boorman shows us a visually beautiful country, that like Arquette, has deep emotions just below the surface. One night in her hotel room Laura hears a demonstration in the streets and is drawn to it, witnessing firsthand the call for freedom as one woman fearlessly calls for democracy in the midst of soldiers sent to stop her. That woman is Aung Suu Kui (Adelle Lutz). The soldiers are, in a larger sense, her sons and brothers, and she bravely walks to them and lowers their weapons.

When Laura is separated from her sister she forms a friendship with an elderly teacher and a group of young students who are seeking change. She learns of the government crackdown that has cost many their lives, as soldiers have fired into crowds of young students. Laura wonders why the world has not heard about this but learns that no photo journalists are allowed to send words or pictures outside of the country. Cut off from her family, Laura must make her way, along with the others, to Thailand, for safety. She will risk her life on more than one occasion as they make their way through the lush jungle and down the beautiful rivers of Rangoon.

Laura has found a place for her grief to dwell as she has unknowingly come to a place where millions are grieving. A transformation occurs within Laura as she begins to live again, and in doing so starts the healing process. "Beyond Rangoon" is a film about the struggle for political change and the struggle within ourselves to find redemption. Arquette gives a subtle performance as Laura, dead on the surface, but filled with anguish underneath.

Laura, who has begun to feel again, will make a decision at the end of this film that will alter the direction of her life forever. Travel down the beautiful waters of Irrawaddy with Arquette as she navigates her way through a river of grief, and discovers the reason she was left behind. It is a journey worth taking.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where's the DVD? 9 Mar 2005
By Ryan Carl Mclemore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This film should be released on DVD! A wonderful story with a an uplifting ending. Why not honor the struggle for Democracy in Myanmar by releasing this movie on DVD? More people should be familiar with Aung San Suu Kyi's fight for freedom. The superb score is extremely moving. Furthermore, the beautiful scenery and Burmese culture will make you want to immediately travel to SE Asia.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You feel the Heat 13 May 2004
By Joseph J. Slevin - Published on Amazon.com
Beyond Rangoon is an excellent movie for understanding the struggle between freedom and oppression.
I happened to be on the Thai border in September of 1988 just prior to the massive movement of people across the border due to the response to Aung San Suu Kyi and her following. I did not know that at the time. All I remember is that on Thai TV a border war seemed to be starting and the road that I was driving on just the week before was being bombed by the Burmese.
The story, although referring to the rebellion and some of those who fled, is more about Archette's character as she struggled to forget the death of her son and husband. As a Doctor, she never took time to get away, and Rangoon seemed a place to be that was exotic.
She takes a walk one very balmy evening only to see Aung San Suu Kyi and her followers walking enmasse on the street. There is later the next day another protest, then things unravel and Archette, Dr. Laura Bowman, is forced to flee.
The flight across the jungle is intense. You actually feel the horror she feels, the close calls, yet, she is helped to flee by virtual strangers with a mutual desire to survive.
This is an excellent movie as an introduction to Myanmar/Burmese history. I have stayed on the border with some of the Karen peoples, whom you will be introduced to at the end of the movie. They are a kind people who also have been effected by the power politics that is Myanmar.
This movie is a keeper and worth watching now and again to remind you that the rest of the world does not rest as easy as we do in the west.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expanding our view of freedom 16 Aug 2000
By lynne - Published on Amazon.com
Beyond Rangoon was a tremendous movie. The scenery, dialogue, actor/actress choices, research on Burma and its military dictatorship made for a perfectly paced, informative and enthralling movie. Patricia Arquette was the perfect choice for the female principal role. I enjoyed seeing how pretty Burma was and was scared to know that thousands of people were actually tortured and killed for campaigning for a democratic way of life, without the world knowing until bits of photography was smuggled out. At the close of the movie, the facts scrolled down the screen. My stomach sank as I read how a million people were chased into the jungles because they had a family member or were seen talking with someone involved in protesting the military dictatorship. It reminds me of how luxurious our life is in its lack of fear over government extermination tactics. Anyone would enjoy the beauty of the movie, the wonderful depth of acting, the presentation that while running from trauma a new life can be found as the world expands in viewing. I noted that none of the citizens/residents had any weapon to defend themselves from military intrusion and slaughter. It reminded me that helpless people even in the majority, would have had a better chance if equipped with a simple pistol. Hundreds were gunned down by only a few soldiers while trying to make their escape. It did not end on a depressing note by any means. It ended showing that love of the family is the only possession that really counts and running away from something can provide options if you keep your eyes open.
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