U Pyinya Zawta at the Oscars

Via on Mar 27, 2010

My latest “On the Buddhism Beat” post at Shambhala Sun Space is an interview I did with U Pyinya Zawta, a founding member and the executive director of the All Burma Monks’ Alliance. One of the leaders of 2007′s “Saffron Revolution”–the nonviolent demonstration by thousands of Buddhist monastics calling for economic and political justice in the military-ruled country–he was a guest of the producer and director of Best Documentary nominee Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country at last night’s 82nd Annual Academy Awards. (Burma VJ ultimately lost to The Cove, though, however.) I must say: it was a tremendous honor to speak with him and our translator Aung Moe Win. Here’s a snippet of our conversation…

There have been some interesting editorials in the last week or so—specifically at the New York Times’s Carpetbagger blog and Foreign Policy—about the “importance” of the Oscar nomination for Burma VJ. Would you say something about why you think the Academy’s notice is so important?

Photo courtesy of Annie Demyan.
Photo courtesy of Annie Demyan.

Burma VJ is very important because it can help raise awareness and educate viewers about what’s happening on the ground in Burma. The film shows the horrible things that are taking place there, and also demonstrates how people are forced to gather information. The more people who see the film, the more people can see what’s happening.

Read the rest right here.

About Reverend Danny Fisher

Rev. Danny Fisher, M.Div., D.B.S. (Cand.), is a professor and Coordinator of the Buddhist Chaplaincy Program at University of the West in Rosemead, CA. He was ordained as a lay Buddhist minister by the Buddhist Sangha Council of Southern California in 2008. In addition, he is certified as a mindfulness meditation instructor by Naropa University in association with Shambhala International. A member of the National Association of College and University Chaplains, he serves on the advisory council for the Upaya Buddhist Chaplaincy Training Program. In addition to his work for elephant journal, he is a blogger for Shambhala Sun. He has also written for Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Religion Dispatches, The Journal of Buddhist Ethics, The Journal of Religion & Film, Eastern Horizon, New York Spirit, Alternet's Wiretap Magazine, and other publications. His award-winning website is http://www.dannyfisher.org

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