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Liz Gill Directs 'What in the World?' For RTÉ
05 Jun 2008 :
The General's Genocide
The third series of RTÉ’s ‘What in the World?’, which focuses on the topics of globalisation and human rights, begins this Thursday 5th June on RTE One. Irish director Liz Gill (Goldfish Memory, Hide & Seek) tells IFTN of her experiences filming the first episode ‘The General’s Genocide’ in Burma and Thailand.

The 6x25” series, presented and produced by Peadar King, looks at the injustice suffered by people in countries including Patagonia, Tuvala, Bolivia and Angola.

The first episode in the series, ‘The General’s Genocide’, is directed by Liz Gill and was filmed over ten days in January on location in Burma and Thailand. The documentary highlights the plight of the Karen people, who are currently being burned and starved out of their land by the ethnic Burmese.

“We had to cross the river illegally into Burma, as there was no way they would have given us permission to enter as a crew and film there,” Gill told IFTN. “They don’t want any western cameras nosing around where the civil war has been going on for the last forty years. We went in under the protection of the Karen National Liberation Army.”

“The Burmese military regime has been clearing the Karen from the country by burning their land and killing their animals, leaving them to starve. These people used to flee to the neighbouring country Thailand, but in 2002 the Thai government stopped recognising them as refugees and they can be arrested, deported or beaten if they are found there, so they are between a rock and a hard place.”

The crew interviewed local people, a Burmese monk and a Burmese woman who was imprisoned for four years for typing an anti-government letter. ‘The General’s Genocide’ was shot by Ken O’Mahony, with soundman Mick Cassidy.

Gill’s multi-award winning feature film ‘Goldfish Memory’ also airs on RTÉ this week. The TV premiere of the IFTA-nominated feature is screened on Friday 6th June at 9.30pm on RTÉ One. The film follows a merry-go-round of relationships in Dublin city and poses the question do we learn from heartbreak or do we repeat the same mistakes over and over again like goldfish.

Gill, who recently directed episodes of RTÉ series ‘Written Off’, is currently developing an Irish Film Board funded feature called ‘The Separator’, which tells the story of a man who runs an agency for people who want to break up with their partner without causing a scene.

'What in the World?' airs Thursday 5th June at 11.10 pm on RTE One.



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