Irrawaddy, the Sacred River of Burma

Irrawaddy  the Sacred River of Burma

This is another of the films by Alain Dayan exploring the life along the rivers of Asia, in this case the Irrawaddy (more properly Ayeyarwady) which flows through Myanmar (here called Burma) and into the Andaman Sea.

The journey starts in Yangon in the delta region of the river, and looks at life in and around Yangon, including visits to the Shwedagon Pagoda, and other sights.

It then moves to the far north, just 50km short of the border with China at Bhamo, which has become a market for cheap imported Chinese goods.

It then takes a slow journey down the river stopping off at Kyun Daw, where we see the end of the Rains Retreat festivities; village life in the remote village of Kyauk Hmaw; and a potter’s village at Nwe Nyein.

From there the journey continues down to Mingun and the gigantic stupa called Pahtodawgyi which was begun by King Bodawpaya in 1790, but never finished after the massive edifice was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1839.

Curiously the crew bypass Sagaing and Mandalay and head on to Bagan, where a large part of the film is situated. There we see what remains from the almost 13,000 temples this city had in its heyday.

Again this is another interesting and informative film by the team, looking at the religious monuments, culture and lives of the ordinary people as they are lived along this life-giving river in Myanmar.


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