The Last King of Burma

Dharma Documentaries

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  • Video Length: 45minutes : 22second

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This is a very good and well made documentary from Channel NewsAsia about King Thibaw, who was deposed and taken into remote exile in India in 1885, and his wife, children and their descendants up and till today. King Thibaw was revered in Burma at the time as something like a Divine King, and he lived like one also: sitting on a solid gold throne, eating off solid gold plates, etc. All of that changed when he was removed to the isolated fishing village of Ratnagiri in Maharasthra on the west coats of India, far away from his homeland. There he lived on a small pension, but with no sense of fiscal propriety at all, trying to still live like a King, even if only of a very small and humble castle. His eldest daughter however fell in with the doorman, and became pregnant, which must have shocked all and sundry, and even after the King died and the family were allowed to return to Burma, she fled back to be the doorman’s mistress. The film itself follows not only the twisting and turning fate of the King and his immediate family, but also of his descendants, one of whom is a humble three-wheeler driver in Ratnagiri to this day. Others retain their regal airs in Burma, some fell into disgrace, some feel the King disgraced the monarchy and find it hard to come to terms with their ancestry. All-in-all this is a very unexpected and entertaining look at a fallen King and his familial legacy and how it has affected the generations that came after.