February, 1st (Leila Macaire, Mo Mo) France, Burma

February, 1st
Leila Macaire, Mo Mo
France, Burma. 2021. 12 min

Mo woke up on February 1st 2021 and learnt that she had lost her freedom. The army had just taken control of her country, Myanmar, yet again. A year earlier, to the exact day, Leïla had travelled there for the first time as a French tourist, and found in this country a breath of freedom which she had never known before.


Leila Macaire is a French director and photographer living in Paris. Identity and social diversity are two themes recurring most presently in her work. Both in film and photography she questions and defends human rights as much as women’s rights, finding expression through visual and aesthetic research.


La Tangente (10’) 2016
Mudi (12’) 2016 Cut Cut (10’) 2020
Des vies dansent (90’) documentary, 2021
“February 1st” ( 12 min ) 2021


MO MO (pseudonym) is à Burmese filmmaker, musician and a multidisciplinary artist. In 2014, she attended Human Ecology at College of the Atlantic in the US and in 2017, she finished her studies with Film Directing at New York Film Academy. Upon her graduation, MO MO wrote and directed several short films which often explore mathematics around the metaphysical, identity, femininity and personal aspects in storytelling through innovative use of visuals and sound. She also founded a cinema magazine and a film education initiative, to support narrative storytelling in the film community in Myanmar as well as artist run interdisciplinary audiovisual lab’ to interconnect innovative different forms of art. She is currently developing her first feature film.


This ambivalence made us question the meaning of freedom. Are there conditions ? Limits ? Is it fair ? With this film we have tried to understand our differences, from one country to another, from one individual story to another, but as well, what links us to others, our passions, our gender or even our need for freedom. Presented as a personal diary in visual form, we explore what it is like to feel foreign, to feel lonely or surrounded by others, to feel strong. We attempt as well to understand the role our pictures play in our lives as women film directors. “February 1st” is the result of creative collaboration from two parts of the world, a collective voice facing geopolitical events which concern all of us. In the end, who really takes over the reins of power in this film ?