Mission Of Burma Not a Photograph

Despite its brevity as a documentary, Not a Photograph effectively delivers a number of the key scenes behind Mission of Burma’s return and their renewed creative vigour following nearly two decades of silence. In this doc’s tight 70 minutes, the focus rests primarily on the high spirits surrounding the Boston group’s critically acclaimed reunion. It also explores the band’s influence on an assortment of artists ranging from Sonic Youth to Moby. In charting Burma’s course, the doc supplies an excellent variety of live footage. Early concerts, rehearsals and the group’s first round of reunion shows in 2002 are all included. It also delves into some of the factors, including guitarist/vocalist Roger Miller’s damaged hearing, which contributed to Burma’s early demise in 1983 after only a handful of releases. Interviews with Miller, bassist/vocalist Clint Conley, drummer/vocalist Peter Prescott and a variety of other musicians, friends and fans provide wide views on the group’s past and present. There are some gaps, however. The film doesn’t dig deep into all the reasons leading to the group’s reunion or the projects that band members were involved in following the group’s initial split. Despite a few minor shortcomings, Not A Photograph provides an excellent overview to one of contemporary music’s most compelling bands. (MVD, www.mvdvisual.com)