A not-for-profit documentary film - 2015, 60 mins




     ‘Dams, Drugs & Democracy’ tells the story of a plan to dam the Irrawaddy River at its source: Myitsone, in Kachin State, northern Myanmar. Local villagers have been forcibly relocated, disrupting their traditional way of life. The impact on downstream areas in the rest of the country is potentially enormous, prompting popular protest. Most of the electricity from this gigantic hydropower project was supposed to be delivered to China (just over the border), so a sudden halt in construction has geopolitical ramifications. 

     The film places the Myitsone Dam in the context of the Kachin insurgency, which has ravaged the country for more than five decades as all sides have struggled to control the region’s rich resources. Over the course of four years, a team of local journalists lived with villagers displaced by the dam project, followed dam protesters, and interviewed key players: local politicians, insurgent leaders, independent observers, and those behind the delayed Myitsone Dam project. All this at a time of significant political and societal change in Myanmar...

     Momentous and far-reaching decisions will soon be taken. Can a ceasefire transition into a more permanent peace-deal, and will the Myitsone Dam project be restarted following the election in late 2015? What future for Kachin State and Myanmar?

The Struggle for Resources in Kachin State, Myanmar