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 Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network 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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”