A collaboration between Chiang Mai-based Eureka films and DVB‘s investigative documentary team, “Mega Dams on the Thanlwin” explores a subject that has excited strong passions in Burma in the past, but which in this case has gone barely noticed outside of the affected area: the construction of mega-dams to supply neighboring countries with electricity.
Working with a skeleton crew in Karen and Mon states last year, filmmaker Tom Fawthrop interviewed activists, academics, and local people who stand to have their lives changed by Chinese-backed hydropower projects along the Thanlwin River, also known as the Salween.
The film specifically focuses on the Mong Ton Dam project in eastern Shan State. The proposed mega-dam will produce 34.7 billion kilowatt hours of energy per year — most of it for export to Thailand and China. Environmentalists estimated that the floodplain caused by the dam will displace between 200,000 and 300,000 civilians.