Burmese Director Explores Same-Sex Relationships in New Film

By Yu Mon Kyaw 28 January 2016

The next project of Nyo Min Lwin, a director known for creating movies outside of the mainstream, engages with a topic rarely explored in Burma’s film industry.

Entitled “Gemini,” the film tells the story of a relationship between two men, said the director.

“I’m planning to direct a man-to-man drama in the last week of January,” Nyo Min Lwin confirmed.

The director’s previous movie, “Spa,” also touches upon the topic of homosexuality, and drew criticism from netizens on Facebook when the trailer went viral on social media.

When asked by The Irrawaddy about potential criticism of “Gemini,” Nyo Min Lwin was frank.

“I welcome any constructive criticism. But I don’t like armchair criticism. I think of it as kind of a personal attack, and not a review,” he said. “I don’t care about such criticism… but I listen to constructive criticism and the voices of my real fans.”

The cast includes actors Okkar Min Maung and Nyein Chan Kyaw playing the film’s leading male characters and Aye Myat Thu as the female character.

“I am proud to act in the film, as I can represent gays and lesbians in Myanmar,” Okkar Min Maung said.

He added that the film is family-friendly and will not include scenes of a sexual nature. It focuses on “the love and attachment between two men,” he said.

In a conservative society like Burma, the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) label is still a social taboo despite more people opening up about their sexual orientation in recent years. Yet under Section 377 of Burma’s penal code, homosexuality remains illegal and can be punished with fines and lengthy prison sentences.

Translated by Thet Ko Ko.