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

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

Hamilton Live: Dustbowl Revivali
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
September 02, 2015 12:19 PM
Dustbowl Revival is an American roots orchestra with eight full-time members who performed live at "The Hamilton" songs from their new CD, "With A Lampshade On."

Dustbowl Revival is an American roots orchestra with eight full-time members who performed live at "The Hamilton" songs from their new CD, "With A Lampshade On."