News / Arts & Entertainment

Film Bio of Aung San Suu Kyi Debuts in Toronto

Cast member Michelle Yeoh greets fans on the red carpet for the film "The Lady" during the 36th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) September 12, 2011.
Cast member Michelle Yeoh greets fans on the red carpet for the film "The Lady" during the 36th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) September 12, 2011.

A new film biography of Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi had its world premiere Monday at the Toronto Film Festival.

The film, called The Lady, was directed by noted French action director Luc Besson. It focuses on Aung San Suu Kyi's relationship with her British-born husband Michael Aris after she returned to Burma in 1988 to care for her ailing mother.

Aung San Suu Kyi went on to lead Burma's pro-democracy movement, culminating in her National League for Democracy winning elections in 1990.  The ruling military junta refused to acknowledge the results, and Aung San Suu Kyi was subjected to long years of detention.

Aris died of prostate cancer in 1999 without ever seeing his wife again.

The Lady was filmed largely in Thailand and Burma.  

Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh, who won fame for her role as a Chinese spy in the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, portrays the Nobel Peace Prize winner, while British actor David Thewlis plays Aris.

Yeoh says the film deals with political issues but is above all a love story.

"I'm very humbled. I'm very thrilled to be the person that can tell this story to the rest of the world because it's such an important story to tell because Daw Suu is very inspirational. She continues to be inspirational to people, particularly the Burmese, who are still struggling for independence, freedom, and basic human rights," said Yeoh. "When we came upon the story we realized it was not just about politics, there was a great love story. It was about a man and a woman who were soul mates and who made a choice to do whatever they can for each other and go for what they believed in. Michael Aris, sadly died, in 1999, and it was one of the most difficult periods for Daw Suu because at that time she was still campaigning in her country and they always put the needs of other people before theirs."

Yeoh said Aung San Suu Kyi was unable to participate personally in the making of the film because of her detention.

"We didn't. We couldn't be in touch. We sent a letter saying we would be doing this film, and she knew who Luc [Besson] was and she admired his films, and she knew who I was, but she was not involved in that way because she was still under house arrest very much, and even her family members had not seen her, or talked to her in ten years," she said. "So there was no way - they isolated her, a lot."

Yeoh traveled to Burma to visit Aung San Suu Kyi following her release from seven years of house arrest in November 2010. But Yeoh was deported when she tried to return to Burma earlier this year.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

Graham Nash has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice – once for his work with The Hollies and once as part of Crosby, Stills & Nash. The legendary folk-rocker joins "Border Crossings" host Larry London to talk about his latest project, “CSN 2012,” which captured on video recent live performances by Crosby, Stills & Nash.