Talking about Burma on film, one major source of newsreels is British Pathé. Last month the archive uploaded its entire set of 85,000 films to its YouTube channel. The collection is also freely available on the British Pathé website. Shot across an 80-year period from 1896 to 1976, the films are an incomparable record of twentieth-century history, and especially of the Second World War.
A Burma search turns up 215 newsreels distributed across the archive’s 10 overlapping categories. Overwhelmingly, the films focus on war in Burma in the 1940s, generating superb documentation of ebbs and flows in the conflict. They also follow events leading up to independence in 1948. From earlier years, they provide footage of the visit to Burma of Lord Reading, Viceroy of India, in 1924, and of funeral rites for senior Buddhist monks in 1925 and 1927. From later years, there is sporadic coverage of Prime Minister Nu’s overseas trips.