New Documentary Explores Campaign of Oppression Against Burmese Minority


The struggles of the Karen people, an ethnic minority that has for years faced severe repression in Burma, is explored in a new documentary being released by Choices Video, “Prayer of Peace: Relief and Resistance in Burma’s War Zones”.

The Karen people have been forcibly and systematically removed from their homes since 1962, when they opposed a coup by the Burmese Army that saw the end of democratic rule. Many have accused the Burmese Army of ethnic cleansing. The conflict between carried out by the Burmese Army against the Karen continues, leaving thousands of Karen refugees in its wake.

“Prayer of Peace” explores the relief efforts of the Free Burma Rangers, a multi-ethnic humanitarian service movement that aids the Karen by providing emergency assistance and human rights documentation.

To make his film, American director Matt Blauer illegally crossed the border from Thailand several times to help local relief workers bring medicine and material aid to those displaced. Through the film, he meets a nurse devoted to assisting escapees following the death of her parents and a pastor/cameraman who documents human rights abuses. Blauer relies on candid interviews and footage of more recent events in order to shed light on the on going struggle of the Karen people and the oppression they face from the Burmese Army.

“In ‘Prayer of Peace’, I hope people see the dignity of an ethnic people who have been suffering through decades of civil war in Burma. A people who despite oppression continue to persevere, help each other and hope in the future; lessons for us all”, said Blauer.

“Prayer of Peace” will be available on DVD May 5th, 2008 at


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Christopher P. Duffy

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