Shwe Moviefilm by Shwe
Southeast Asia Film Theatre Project: Shwe Hintha Cinema
As most of the city's movie theaters are already immortal, even the most important ones, it was the right moment to continue. The first stop, the town of Bago, which is only sixty kilometres upstream from Yangon, was not yet far enough northerly to avert soaking.
It is a contemporary relict in the centre of a city that has forgotten the times. Away from the most important north-south motorway in the state, which slices through Bago like lightning, thunderous lorries without limits, the city is a full timecapsule; a glimpse into the past. Different street scenes of Shwe Hintha cinema. Outside of Shwe Hintha Cinema to the lefthand side, with several exits that lead from the audience.
Gypsum reliefs of a Brahmin Teal above the front door. Shwe Hintha" stands above the canard, among them "Ashin' myin" or "Quality Cinema". "The name Shwe Hintha means "Golden Brahminy Duck", a name that has been selected as a tribute to the mythical origin of Bago (which I will come to in a moment).
In fact, the city has a long and royal past that served as the capitol of an autonomous realm called Hanthawaddy ("Hantha" as in "Hintha" as in "Shwe Hintha") until the Burmese conquered it in the sixteenth and made it the capitol of their own state. The Bago River was apparently a river of tides, which meant that the level would increase so high that large ships could sail it from the Gulf of Martaban, making Bago a vital harbour for long-distance seas.
According to tradition, a mon-prince traveled through the area witnessing a Brahman man seated on a small hill in the then seas. During an act of unparalleled knighthood, the man held a woman's hoax on his back as the tide was up.
I took the Golden Duck Theatre twelve hundred years later. The big sisters and little brothers are inspecting movie billboards. The films in the Shwe Hintha Café Centre are screened by an overhead screen projection. Most cinemas in Myanmar use liquid -crystal viewers instead of films. In order to reduce the cost of producing most of the films in Germany, they are filmed on analogue TV.
Combining an inspiring venue and old-fashioned charm made Shwe Hintha Cinema one of my favourite cinemas. The Shwe Hintha still brings pleasure to the Bagoans after 82 years.