Animator, director, writer, and producer Nyan Kyal Say has made waves at international film festivals since the debut of his second animated short film, My Life I Don’t Want released in June.
The full 12-minute short, first produced in May, took a total of eight months to create according to blogger Hans Thoolen. After its premier at the 2016 Human Rights Film Festival, My life I Don’t Want went international, gaining the prestigious KLIK Amsterdam Animation Festival award for Best Animated Short from an Emerging Animation Nation 2016.
My Life I Don’t Want has already garnered more than 30 international awards, including the March 13 Award from the Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival, Best Animation Short Film at the Barcelona Planet Film Festival, Animation Award, Animation of the Month, and the Audience Award from the UK Monthly Film Festival.
Human rights spotlight on Myanmar
The animated short is attracting loads of consideration, just as Myanmar is again thrust into the human rights spotlight with a fresh round of democide on the Rohingya population in Rahkine State. Some 140,000 Rohingya Muslims have been living in oppressive, squalid conditions in refugee camps in Myanmar for the past three years.
At the beginning of the month, United Nations representatives, and foreign ambassadors, including those of China, India, the United States and United Kingdom, visited Myanmar’s Rakhine state in response to reports of ethnic violence and the displacement of ‘some 15,000 people, both Muslim Rohingya and Buddhist Rakhinetha. Since then the persecution of the Rohingya has intensified.
My life I Don’t Want follows a young girl who is trying desperately, to overcome the trials and tribulations of growing up female in Myanmar. Inspired by true events, Mr Nyan Kyal Say attempts “to promote awareness of child and woman rights.”
|The discrimination females in Myanmar face is highlighted in the multi-award winning I Wanna Go to School
Video uploaded to YouTube by Nyan Kyal Say Cartoonist
Like his first short, I Wanna Go to School, 22-year-old Mr Nyan Kyal Say gives us examples of how growing up in Myanmar is a daunting task. In the short above, we see immediately, that bothers and sisters get separated, and before the first minute is up, the boy is dressed in military garb. As the boy turns into a man in a life of hard labour, he returns home only to find his sister taken away by human traffickers.
Neither animation leaves us with much hope. In the official trailer for My life I Don’t Want we get a taste of the same issues. The young woman is quickly stripped of choice, forced to wait her turn, grabbed at, ridiculed, bought, sold, and bribed.
With the global human rights spotlight now on Myanmar, state counselor and 1991 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi might now know how to spend some of that ¥800 billion (about US$7.73 billion) aid package that the Japanese government just gave her… or perhaps the donor itself can direct where the money should be spent.
However, before any aid can be disbursed the killing, raping, abduction, and burning of Rohingya villages will have to stop. For that to happen Aung San Suu Kyi would have to prove that the civilian government has any control at all over the Myanmar army, or whether the concept of a ruling civilian government is one that has not yet been realised in Myanmar.
Given her silence on the Myanmar army’s rampage in Rahkine State on this and other occasions, it is not surprising that an online petition has been launched seeking to have her Nobel Peace Prize withdrawn.