Mya Ga Naing (The Emerald Jungle)
A young man from Rangoon rescues the granddaughter of a sawmill owner from an accident in the jungle. It was love at first sight for the two. However, the man gets caught in a series of unfortunate circumstances involving both sides of the law, thereby complicating his relationship with his new love and her grandfather.
About the director
Maung Tin Maung aka Tin Maung was born in 1908 in Pyay, a small town in Lower Burma, during the British colonial rule. He is considered one of the fathers of Myanmar cinema due to his significant contributions to the industry as a director and actor. His brother Nyi Pu (1900-1996) also made film history, being the first film actor in Burmese cinema.
Though Maung had been acting since the age of ten, he joined Burma’s A1 Film studio while in Rangoon University, and directed The Emerald Jungle in 1936. He gained the nickname A1 Tin Maung for his prominence in the studio’s projects.
Maung, along with other colleagues, put his career on hold to enlist in the Burmese Independence Army to fight against the British during World War II. He returned to A1 after the war and continued his work, earning Best Actor and Best Director at the Burmese Academy Awards. He later became the Chairman of Myanmar’s film council (now known as Myanmar Motion Picture Organization) from 1964 to 1966. By the end of his career he had directed more than 40 film titles.
Maung died on October 4, 2000 in Yangon. He was survived by his wife, Tin Tin, and their six children.
Source: Theo Stojanov (ilionstudio.com)
Film and Restoration
The Emerald Jungle is the oldest surviving film from Myanmar, one of less than 20 films left from the country’s over 90-year filmmaking history. To combat the further deterioration of Myanmar’s films, MEMORY! Cinema Association launched a campaign to preserve and search for any other lost films around the world. The restoration of the film in 2016 brings to light the loss of Myanmar’s cinematic heritage.
Meant to represent a milestone in the campaign’s progress, The Emerald Jungle was reconstructed from incomplete second-generation negatives and third-generation positives, as the original negatives were unavailable. All the prints were damaged, exhibiting a combination of dust, tears, scratches, white marks, and generally poor definition due to the reproduction process. This created significant challenges for the restoration laboratory.
The film was originally shot as a silent film with onscreen title cards. Music was added around 1954 and dialogue was added for the film’s 1970 re-release to mark the 50th anniversary of Myanmar Cinema. The restoration of the film is based on this 1970 version.
Source: MEMORY! International Film Festival