For more than 30 years, U Kyaw Win has been an outspoken critic of the brutal political system in his native Burma. But getting American policy-makers to listen was difficult--until he went to Hollywood. Win took a leave of absence two years ago from his job as a counselor at Orange Coast College to work on "Beyond Rangoon," a film about the early days of the revolution in Burma, now called Myanmar.
Win said the movie, released last month, has been a windfall for groups that collect food and clothing for Burmese refugees and has drawn attention to his cause.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) introduced a bill in Congress that would restrict U.S. trade and investment with Myanmar. The bill has been passed by the Senate and awaits action in the House of Representatives.
"If we can get this through," Win said, "that will be a big step."