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Above and Below the Ground

Directed by Emily Hong

Above and Below the Ground depicts the indigenous women activists and punk rock pastors in Myanmar’s first environmental movement to protect a sacred river from a mega dam project of a Chinese corporate giant. In an attempt to push the indigenous Kachin people off their ancestral land, grandmother Lu Ra stands her ground and in doing so builds a country-wide movement. The film features Kachin punk rock band made of pastors, BLAST, and the power of their love songs as protest anthems. Their hit songs gave voice to the cries of the Mali Hka Nu (Irrawaddy) River, bringing attention to the ecological and cultural havoc that the Myitsone Dam has caused. 2019 CAAM Fellow, Director Emily Hong, highlights intersecting themes of women’s leadership, indigenous sovereignty, and the climate crisis and claims, “in order to battle climate change, we must prioritize protecting Indigenous lands including rivers and other natural resources from extractive industries.”

Expected Guests in Attendance: Director Emily Hong

Open Captions: Yes, there are open captions.
Closed Captions: There are no closed captions.
Audio Descriptions: There are no audio descriptions.
ASL Interpreters: There will not be ASL interpreters.

Dates & Times


Roxie Theater

Sat, May 11
11:00 am