Inge Eberhard was a German student who came to the United States to study at the University of Colorado shortly after the end of World War II. While in Colorado, she met and fell in love with San Kya Seng, a student from Burma, and when the two graduated, she agreed to join him for a visit to his home. It wasn't until they arrived that Eberhard discovered Seng wasn't an ordinary Burmese student -- he was in fact the prince and prospective ruler of Shan, a Burmese republic with a language and history of its own that had been ruled by the same family since 45 B.C. Eberhard wed Seng and was at his side as he was crowned ruler of Shan; while Eberhard rose to a life of wealth and privilege, she gained a reputation among her subjects for her progressive and compassionate policies of social and economic reform. However, as Shan became more forward thinking, Burma became less so, and a military coup in 1962 put an end to independent rule in Shan. Seng was captured and supposedly put to death (to this day, the Burmese government claims no knowledge in the matter), while Eberhard was forced to escape to the United States with her children, where she devotes herself to charitable work with Burmese refugees. The Last Mahadevi is a documentary that examines Inge Eberhard's remarkable life and times, as well as the fascinating and tragic history of Shan, using contemporary interviews with Eberhard and her children, newsreel footage, and home movies shot by members of the royal family of Shan.
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