- Title: BURMESE THANK 14TH ARMY COMMANDER AT MONYWA [Allocated Title]
- Film Number: ABY 95
- Other titles: ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
- Summary: Lieutenant-General Sir William Slim, commander of 14th Army, is honoured with performances of traditional Burmese entertainments at Monywa, northwest of Mandalay, Burma.
- Description: A car arrives. Lieutenant-General Slim gets out and is saluted. A second car pulls up and Air Vice-Marshal Vincent, Air Officer Commanding RAF 221 Group, gets out. They are received by senior Civil Affairs officers, who before the Japanese invasion were responsible for the British colonial administration of Burma. Slim and Vincent walk together, escorted by two native Burmese bearers in traditional court dress (according to the dopesheet 'hidden from the Japanese and carefully kept for just this occasion') and carrying golden ceremonial parasols. A performance of a traditional dance; a man uses both hands to beat a cylindrical drum (possibly an 'ozi') suspended by a strap around his neck. Behind him two men dance. A brief view of a Burmese man in RAF uniform saluting. A crowd of Burmese civilian men and women. Some wear western-style hats, others more traditional headgear. Slim and Vincent watch the performance and confer with a Burmese man who is presumably acting as their translator. On the table in front is a tea pot, some fine china tea cups and a tin of condensed milk. An 'anyein pwe', or small play, is performed. The male troupe wear white make-up to exaggerate eyebrows and moustaches and each carries a bamboo cane topped with leaves. Other men play instruments to accompany the play; one appears to have a small pair of 'linkwin' (cymbals), another plays a wooden wind instrument with a wide base. Another has a simple 'wa letkote' clapper made from a split length of bamboo. A group of men play 'chinlon', a game or exercise aimed at keeping a small wicker or cane ball in the air for as long as possible without using one's hands (similar to 'keep-up' played as football training). Slim watches in the background. An ornately dressed female dancer performs on stage; on the backdrop the word 'Victory' can be read. A man plays a 'ci wain' or 'gong circle'. The audience watching the performance. A man plays a 'hne', or Burmese oboe. Slim and Vincent departing.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM
- Featured Period: 1939-1945
- Production Date: 1945-02-23
- Production Country: GB
- Production Details: Air Ministry, Directorate of Public Relations (Production sponsor) Royal Air Force Film Production Unit (Production company)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: Slim, William Joseph (person) Vincent, Stanley Flamank (person) British Army, 14th Army (regiment/service) Royal Air Force, 221 Group (regiment/service)
- Keywords: Monywa, Burma (geography) Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event) Royal Air Force 1939-1945 (theme) Far East 1939-1945 (theme) Burma 1942-1945 (theme)
- Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W Sound format: Silent
- Technical Details: Format: 35mm Number of items/reels/tapes: 1 Footage: 441 ft; Running time: 5 minutes
- Notes: An attractive film with much useful insight into Burmese culture and traditions. Dopesheet provides a detailed narrative background to this 'day of rejoicing', quoting Slim as saying "My Army is not conquering Burma. It is conquering the savage Japanese" and reporting his promise that 'his troops would help the local people to repair their war scarred town' and 'would not interfere with their peaceful life'. No slates, date from dopesheet. In his memoir, 'Defeat into Victory', Slim gives the date of Monywa's liberation as 22/1/1945 after heavy fighting. No cameraman named.
- Link to IWM Collections page:
Related IWM Collections Objects:
FUB 75 (FALL OF MONYWA [Allocated Title]) MWY 76 (FINAL ASSAULT ON MONYWA [Allocated Title]) APY 37 (LIFE IN AIR COMMAND SOUTH EAST ASIA [Main Title]) JIN 40 (BURMESE CIVILIANS PERFORM PWE AND SWORD DANCE AT RAMREE TOWN [Allocated Title]) JIN 43 (BURMESE DANCE AT PAGAN [Allocated Title])