Beyond Rangoon

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3 1/2

Content: +2

In 1988, Laura Bowman (Patricia Arquette) is a young American physician who goes with her sister to Burma. Laura is trying to forget the brutal murder of her husband and son. Tourists from the Western world see the beauty and charm of Burma, but do not know of the conflict and injustice perpetrated by the government beyond Rangoon. Laura loses her passport and must stay alone in Rangoon while her sister continues with the planned itinerary. Laura hires a guide, U Aung Ko (playing himself) to show her the countryside. It seems that Ko had been imprisoned for his democratic ideas. When they have car trouble, Laura and Ko seek shelter with some of his pro-democratic friends. Word of a massacre in Rangoon by government soldiers who are seeking out and killing all pro-democrats causes the group to flee into Thailand. Ko is wounded and Laura makes a valiant effort to save him. Their journey is a series of hardships and challenging obstacles. Thus, the viewer, along with Laura, is introduced to the real life of an oppressed nation. The chase is daring and exciting. BEYOND RANGOON very dramatically makes the viewer feel you are there.

Generally, the main characters in BEYOND RANGOON are shown as courageous and noble. The friendship between Laura and Ko is based on mutual respect as they reach out to one another across cultures. As Ko encourages Laura to believe that her life has purpose, she refuses to let him die. Religion is generally shown in a favorable light. Buddhist monks are everywhere, and a large crucifix is displayed at one of the refugee camps. The R rating is for the violence, including an attempted rape of Laura. The filmmakers want to reveal to the world the hidden story of the horrific war the Burmese government continues to wage against its own people. We see armed soldiers killing innocent men, women and children, some point-blank, terrible hardships of those trying to escape Burma, and other war atrocities. There is no sexual content and, surprisingly, only two muted exclamatory profanities spoken by Americans. A strange touch is the physical appearance of Laura's dead husband and child, apparently in dreams. BEYOND RANGOON is much too intense for children, but because the violence is not gratuitous, it can be recommended for adults as an engrossing, high quality movie experience. It's a very rare R rated film.

Preview Reviewer: Margaret Reid
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Exclamatory twice

Violence: Many times - Moderate and severe (dead bodies of husband and child; bloody conflicts between soldiers and citizens; random killing of women and children; attempted rape; point blank shootings, clubbings, hangings, drownings; car chases, villages destroyed)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Dead husband and son appear alive; Ko and Laura admit fear of death

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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