DirectorHtet Aung San, KO JET, Phyo Zayar Kyaw
Location for ShootingHpakant City in Kachin State
VDP Selection YearPolitics-2016
Screen Time31min
SubtitlesEnglish/ Japanese
TagsKachin, Jade Mining, Labor, Exploitation


A relatively unspoken part of life in Myanmar, this documentary sheds light on the mining sites and dangers that surround laborers as they search for jade. This documentary offers an stark portrayal of mining in Myanmar and the everyday risks that miners face trying to make a living.

Htet Aung San


Born in Yangon, Myanmar in 1993. Htet Aung San graduated from Dagon University in 2014. He studied human rights filmmaking in the Human Dignity Film Institute (HDFI) in 2015. Vein won two awards at the Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival (HRHDIFF) in 2016 in Yangon, Myanmar.



Born in Mandalay, Myanmar in 1990. Ye Lin Aung graduated from the National University of Art And Culture Mandalay in 2012. He studied human rights filmmaking in the Human Dignity Film Institute (HDFI) in 2015.

Commentary from the Screening Committee Members

Kenji Ishizaka

Senior Programmer, International Film Festival(TIFF)/ Professor, Japan Institute of the Moving Image

Jade mining sites in Myanmar present us with the sense of a “gold rush.” This is the theme of a number of recently produced documentaries and something we can learn much about. The City of Jade by the Taiwan based Burmese director Midi Z is well known and this outstanding documentary ranks in the same league. In particular, among all of this year’s submission the quality of this film is unrivalled. It has the ability to pull us in and brings to mind “Sanrizuka” series (1968-77) directed by Shinsuke Ogawa (1935-92). From the beginning we are presented with the countless flickering lights of torches as people mine at night drawing viewers into the documentary. With people running toward the smoke rising from a landslide the viewer is overcome by the dynamic movement of the camera that pursues a bike with two people racing toward the explosion at the mining site. This documentary presents us with the reality of oppressive working conditions which for some leads to death.