LAB 2009-2010 > Thu Thu Shein & Katrine Philp – 5 beats before death

Thu Thu Shein & Katrine Philp – 5 beats before death

Thu Thu Shein


Thu Thu Shein was born in the former Burmese capital and originally graduated in video editing and graphic design from Myanmar Forever Co. June. Like several other of the country's notable directors - including Wai Mar Nyunt - she discovered the film media after the first workshop of Yangon Film School (YFS). Here, she participated as a photographer at Eh Mwee’s film 'A Day med Aye Nan Lin'. Thu Thu Shein has already marked herself with her own film 'A Million Threads'. A film that portrays a one-day long loom battle for women at Yangon Shwe Phone Pwint pagoda. "I wanted to show the weavers excitement, exhaustion and joy" says Thu Thu Shein about her film, which was created during YFSs workshop in 2006. After a film degree from the University of Burmese Culture and an employment as a photographer for YFS, Thu Thu Shein received a travel scholarship of FAMU - the Czech Academy of Film and Performing Arts in Prague.

Katrine Philp


To characterize Danish Katrine Philp, it is natural to build upon her graduation project from the Film School of Denmark: 'Book of Miri' is a documentary about a librarian who lives in the suburbs of Linkoping and uses her spare time taking pictures of herself and write about her thoughts on her internet blog. The main character's self-reflection and distinctive choice of clothing makes the film a strong spatial and visual experience. It is no coincidence: The directors background includes commenced training at the Design School's scenography Department. There, she made her first short film at the Film Workshop and interested in reality began. "In some way I found out that I would much rather make films with an intimate little team and close relationships. I really had no desire to construct as much" Katrine says. Another example of Katrine Philps passion for reality rather than large set-ups is 'Silence in a noisy world' about a coptic school for deaf children in Cairo. The calm and personal film has been selected to seven film festivals internationally.


5 beats before death


Nobody knows what death is, as nobody has survived long enough to talk about it. But maybe death is not the end of life after all. 'When an old person dies, a baby is born', as one of the old ladies says without a hint of sorrow in '5 Beats Before Death', which follows the lives of those still alive at a home for elderly women in Burma. Here, they prepare with Buddhist tranquility and cheerful black humour for what the afterlife may bring. They speak openly and without fear about the life that will soon end, and about the journey that they are about to embark on. The only thing they are afraid of is that they might come back as ghosts. Therefore, it's important for the old ladies to say farewell to their loved ones and to face death on their own, without being attached to anything in this world. This is something that has to be done, but it isn't always easy. But they do have each other's good company, and the result is a cheerful, funny and wonderfully life-affirming film.