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
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

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

At Boston Bombing Hearing, Sides Spar Over Boat

At final pre-trial hearing, lawyers for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, prosecutors disagree on whether vessel where he hid from police can be shown to jurors More

Iran Judiciary 'Picks' Lawyer for Detained WP Reporter

Masoud Shafii has been attempting to secure official recognition as Rezaian’s attorney, but is not allowed to see his client in prison 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

Country-pop singer, Lizzie Sider sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to perform songs from her new album, “Butterfly,” and to talk about her anti-bullying tour.

Blogs

African Music Treasures