- Title: SINGAPORE/ MYANAMAR: Rambo a huge hit among Myanmar expats
- Date: 7th February 2008
- Summary: HAY BAY HTA, KAREN STATE, MYANMAR (RECENT - JANUARY 31, 2008) (REUTERS) KAREN TROOPS MARCHING KAREN PEOPLE WATCHING (SOUNDBITE) (Karen) CAPTAIN GILBERT FROM KAREN NATIONAL UNION TROOPS, SAYING: "It is a good movie for Karen people and the Karen fighters also like it. They said they could get some experience from the film and it also raise their confidence and their bravery which could encourage them to fight against the Myanmar junta." VARIOUS OF KAREN SOLDIERS IN MILITARY CAMP MORE KAREN SOLDIERS
- Embargoed: 22nd February 2008 12:00
- Topics: Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA8PL9FSBM0YYKXCS3XLE629U9X
- Story Text: Rambo IV becomes a huge hit with Myanmar nationals in Singapore as well as the residents of Karen State.
The critics may have turned up their noses at the latest Rambo offering, but for 600 Myanmar nationals in Singapore, the Vietnam War veteran's single-handed demolition of swathes of the Burmese army was a huge hit.
As the closing credits rolled on Sunday (February 3) on Sylvester Stallone's latest orgy of blood-letting, this time set in the jungles of Myanmar's Karen State, whoops and cheers erupted from the block-booked audience.
For some, it was elation at seeing somebody -- albeit a fictional Hollywood character -- taking it to the foot-soldiers of a military regime that has ruled with an iron fist for the last 46 years.
"This is not about the movie itself. This is about the event. But we are using this movie to have our event organised. So we can show we are still pushing for a change inside Burma and we want every attention that we deserve from the outside world, including Singapore and ASEAN. Please don't forget us. Please help us. Please support our cause for change and democracy in Burma," said Edward, a leader of the Overseas Burmese Patriots group which coordinated the movie's screening, complete with red t-shirts reading "We pursue peace, justice and democracy for Burma".
For others, it was a painful but telling reminder of real life-and-death encounters.
"This is reality. Because I come from Burma and I know the scene is right and my family also are in Burma too, so this is a real story,"
said a young man from Myanmar.
"When I was five years, six years old, I still remember, my parents and I ran away. We all go and sleep inside the jungle and bushes. We all are always living with the fear," said 28-year-old Cinthy, a student who grew up in Karen State, where the mainly Christian people have been fighting for independence for 59 years.
In "Rambo 4", released a week ago, an aging John Rambo leaves his quiet retirement as a boat repair man in Bangkok to help Christian missionaries kidnapped by a battalion of Burmese soldiers in Karen State.
In Karen State troops have become huge fans of Rambo, saying Stallone's success in the movie has spurred on their will to beat the military junta.
"It is a good movie for Karen people and the Karen fighters also like it. They said they could get some experience from the film and it also raise their confidence and their bravery which could encourage them to fight against the Myanmar junta," explained Captain Gilbert from the Karen National Union Troops.
After the crushing of last September's monk-led protests, anti-junta activists see the movie as a rallying cry to a cause that receives little Western backing beyond words of support for detained opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
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