Before we go any further, I have to confess something: Burma wasn’t on my original SXSW to-do list. It wasn’t even on the second revision of the list. Nothing about it jumped out at me. In fact, the only reason I went to see Burma at all was because I badly needed dinner and it was being shown at the Alamo, which just happens to offer full, in-your-seat food service. Seeing Burma was really just an accident.
And what a happy accident it was. Carlos Puga’s film is an emotionally heady family drama that takes on how we related to each other, and how sometimes we are least able to see clearly those who are closest to us. The film starts with a fairly basic premise: Dr. Lynn (Christopher McCann) returns to tell his adult children something nine years after abandoning them along with his dying wife. The range of emotions felt by siblings Christian (Christopher Abbott), Susan (Gaby Hoffman) and Win (Dan Bittner) seems a bit stereotypical at first. Okay, it’s a family drama with all the attendant sibling issues. However, as Burma progresses, so much more comes to the surface.