Three-part documentary exploring Burmese boxing slated for November release
August 23, 2016 – Born Warriors, a monumental, award-winning documentary trilogy exploring Lethwei (also known as Burmese Boxing and Myanmar Traditional Boxing) completed over two decades by director Vincent Giordano, is set for release on DVD and Blu-ray in fall 2016. An engrossing glimpse into the world of the sinewy bare-knuckle fighters who carry on the traditions of this ancient martial art form, Born Warriors has been shown in over 19 festivals andgarnered top honors at nine of them.
And the remarkable run continues. The documentary will be featured at the Action on Film/Martial Con event in Los Angeles, September 1-11, 2016, where the third part has already been nominated for Best Documentary and Best Foreign Film. The series is also an official entry at the Newark International Film Festival in September. Each of the three documentaries highlights a different aspect and era of this ancient sport.
TheBorn Warriorstrilogy comprises:
Born Warriors (Part One): A look at Lethwei before Myanmar's modern era of democratic reform. The film delves into the struggles and poverty of the competitors as the sport fights to remain relevant and find a wider audience.
Born Warriors Redux: The slow democratic opening of Myanmar presents a series of new opportunities for the sport of Lethwei. Poverty is still a way of life, although sponsorships are modernizing the training camps and spawning larger tournaments.
Born Warriors: Bound Fists: This special director's cut updates and extends the second film, but highlights the rural cultural traditions that have been the lifeblood of the sport since ancient times. The culture clash between those who maintain the ancient traditions and those who pursue new, modern ideas in big arenas form the core of this intriguing final chapter.
A Story of Survival Evolves
Each film is intended to serve as a chapter, as if the documentary were a book. The documentaries come together as a story that illustrates the survival of Lethwei – an ancient sport originally conceived to prepare teenage boys for manhood and combat – through Myanmar's darkest periods of military control and the country's present-day transition towards a quasi-democracy. The daily troubles its people and fighters contend with are vividly portrayed. The myriad of ways that people from all walks of life seek to train and compete in the sport – still seen as a symbol of strength by those who endured military rule – are similarly brought to life. The bonus material on the DVD/Blu-ray edition sheds further light on Lethwei's training regimens and practices.
Myanmar opened its borders to the outside world in 2011. Born Warriors was filmed well before that, and includes rare photos and footage attained through extensive research. Giordano's unprecedented access and extensive travels throughout the country have yielded unique footage gathered during a week of extensive filming on Ogre island and many other locations including some that were off limits to shoot in. Giordano began filming in 1999 at Myanmar's northern border with Thailand, and continued shooting, off and on, for close to two decades.
More information about the Born Warriors trilogy, including accolades, trailers, the director's story, and other supplemental content, can be found online at http://www.bornwarriorsmovie.com/.
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