Watch the film by SAT Oct 31, then catch the LIVE Q&A on SAT 10/31 at 11:30AM (PT) with MU AND THE VANISHING WORLD directors Jessica W. Leung & Paco Beltrán, and Brian Myers, director of the short film Far from Kawthoolei.
(If you miss the 10/31 LIVE Q&A, a bonus recorded version will be available immediately after the feature is screened.)
This film is a special presentation available to international audiences.
Ten years in the making, MU AND THE VANISHING WORLD is the story of one remarkable woman’s journey from living as a tourist spectacle in Thailand to leaving everything behind to become an independent single mother in Bowling Green, Kentucky. At the outset of the film, Mu, a young Kayan refugee mother who fled Myanmar as a child, lives with other women who wear traditional brass neck coils in a fabricated “Long Neck Women” village set up by the Thai government. Although she is one of 150,000 people living in nine refugee camps along the Thai-Myanmar border in 2008, Mu pushes back against the traditions of her elders and the dissatisfaction of being a novelty to tourists. When an opening in a UN resettlement plan offers a chance to start a new life in the US, her curiosity and determination to forge her own path prompts her to cut the cord from her tribe and leave everything and everyone behind.
Once Mu arrives in Kentucky, the film follows her struggles adapting to a new country and the new community she must build to survive. Despite the real challenges of refugee resettlement, MU AND THE VANISHING WORLD is ultimately a portrait of true resilience: to give her son a better future, to find out where her true identity lies, and ultimately, to reclaim authorship over her own destiny.
Co-Presented by Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center, Gazunmyo
In City Heights, San Diego, a tightknit refugee community center instills the Karen language, culture and legacy of the people with the youth.