The biopic based on the heroic true story of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Burma’s pro-democracy movement is storming the barricades on 30th December.
The Lady tells an extraordinary tale of Burma’s national heroine as she struggles to maintain emotional relationships against a backdrop of political turmoil. Aung San Suu Kyi, the leading opponent to the military junta that has held power in Burma since 1988, has spent her life fighting for democracy in Burma. After winning the general election in 1990, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but has been kept under house arrest for most of 15 of the 21 years between 1989 and 2010.
This is a story about never giving up on your dreams, no matter what the cost. Sometimes alone and always determined, Suu Kyi is such a truly heroic woman that her story of life and love simply had to be told. Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon), who portrays Suu Kyi, she has said, “Of course I had heard of her but I was not aware of the minute details of her story, nor did I know what she had to give up on. Indeed it was difficult to be performing the part because she embodies the yearning for freedom found among all the world’s every oppressed people’s. I felt that I had great responsibilities.”
Yeoh’s challenges in portraying the character included reading an enormous number of books, including all those written by Suu Kyi and all her personal favourites, as well as mastering the Burmese accent perfectly. Suu Kyi’s husband, Michael Aris, and his twin brother, are played by David Thewlis, winner of Best Actor for Mike Leigh’s Naked (1993) at the Cannes Film Festival. The Lady is directed by Luc Besson, who has previously made The Fifth Element and Taken, among others.
Shooting of The Lady took place in neighbouring Thailand, as Burma was not an option. However, the large Burmese community in the country made hiring supporting actors and extras easier. The film will come out in the UK and Ireland on 30th December, 2011 and if you can’t wait, check out the trailer below.