MYANMAR, YANGON : People watch a lion dance performance in
Latha township, Yangon’s Chinatown district on February 9, 2016. Lunar New Year which marks the start of the year of the monkey. / AFP / YE AUNG THU
The next project of Nyo Min Lwin, a director known for creating movies outside of the mainstream, engages with a topic rarely explored in Burma’s film industry.
Entitled “Gemini,” the film tells the story of a relationship between two men, said the director.
“I’m planning to direct a man-to-man drama in the last week of January,” Nyo Min Lwin confirmed.
The director’s previous movie, “Spa,” also touches upon the topic of homosexuality, and drew criticism from netizens on Facebook when the trailer went viral on social media.
When asked by The Irrawaddy about potential criticism of “Gemini,” Nyo Min Lwin was frank.
“I welcome any constructive criticism. But I don’t like armchair criticism. I think of it as kind of a personal attack, and not a review,” he said. “I don’t care about such criticism… but I listen to constructive criticism and the voices of my real fans.”
The cast includes actors Okkar Min Maung and Nyein Chan Kyaw playing the film’s leading male characters and Aye Myat Thu as the female character.
“I am proud to act in the film, as I can represent gays and lesbians in Myanmar,” Okkar Min Maung said.
He added that the film is family-friendly and will not include scenes of a sexual nature. It focuses on “the love and attachment between two men,” he said.
In a conservative society like Burma, the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) label is still a social taboo despite more people opening up about their sexual orientation in recent years. Yet under Section 377 of Burma’s penal code, homosexuality remains illegal and can be punished with fines and lengthy prison sentences.
@ink361 just featured one of my favorite travel photographs from this same location. On a side note, it’s always crazy/incredible to be able to put your personal travel thoughts in front of 564K people. I hope at least a few of you will take my advice and just book that plane ticket in 2016. You won’t regret it!
Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Myanmar’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party, leaves at the end of the first session of the new lower house parliament in Naypyidaw, February 1st 2016. Myanmar entered a new political era as NLD MPs took their seats in a parliament dominated for decades by Myanmar’s military rulers. Credit: AFP/Ye Aung Thu