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    The Lady

    Michelle Yeoh hopes Aung San Suu Kyi biopic will raise Burma awareness
    Friday 13 May 2011

    Yeoh, who plays pro-democracy leader in Luc Besson's The Lady, says film will remind the world about Burmese struggle


    Fair Lady ... Michelle Yeoh as Aung San Suu Kyi and David Thewlis as her husband, Michael Aris

    She has played a wuxia master, a Bond girl, a geisha and an astronaut on a mission to save the Earth from destruction, but Michelle Yeoh believes her latest role, that of the Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, will be her most important so far.
    1. The Lady
    2. Production year: 2011
    3. Directors: Luc Besson
    4. Cast: David Thewlis, Michelle Yeoh
    5. More on this film
    As production of the Luc Besson biopic, titled The Lady, wrapped in Thailand, Yeoh said she hoped the film would raise vital awareness about Aung San Suu Kyi's battle to return her country to civilian rule. The activist has spent 14 of the past 20 years under house arrest and was released from her latest period of incarceration by Burma's ruling dictatorship in November. The military junta has made efforts to convince the world that the country has returned to civilian rule, but critics say little has changed.

    The film will chart Aung San Suu Kyi's remarkable journey from housewife bringing up her children in Oxford to Burmese opposition leader, building up to the awful choice she had to make between country and family when her husband, Michael Aris, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. In The Lady, Aris will be portrayed by the British actor David Thewlis.

    Speaking in Hong Kong, Yeoh, whose films include Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Tomorrow Never Dies, Sunshine and Memoirs of a Geisha, called the movie "an incredible love story that has political turmoil within".

    "More important for me is that people should know her story because unfortunately I think a lot of people have forgotten or don't really understand what was going on because it's been 20 years," she said.

    Yeoh, 48, a former Miss World contestant who was born in Malaysia but is now based in Hong Kong, was able to meet Aung San Suu Kyi last year following her release. She said she was grateful that the Thai shoot had gone well, with little interruption from fans. "It was very important that we did it low-profile and I think because of that you have the integrity of what the film is about," she said.

    Yeoh added that Besson was currently editing the movie and is planning a world premiere at the Venice film festival, which runs from 30 August to 10 September.

    guardian.co.uk

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    A still from The Lady: Aung San Suu Kyi’s Fight for Freedom, starring Michelle Yeoh. The biopic, directed by Luc Besson, charts the Burmese pro-democracy leader’s journey from Oxford housewife to political heavyweight
    Vincent Perez/ EuropaCorp/ Left Bank Pictures

    Eyewitness: On set with The Lady | World news | guardian.co.uk

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    It 's good to see her out & about after spending all of that time inside of 1 house.
    Not been able to go any where.
    I look forward to seeing the film.

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    Authorities in Myanmar have deported Hollywood actress Michelle Yeoh who plans to play pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in an upcoming film, an immigration official said Tuesday.

    Yeoh, a Malaysian known for playing Chinese spy Wai Lin alongside Pierce Brosnan in the 1997 James Bond film "Tomorrow Never Dies" among other roles, was detained on arrival at Yangon's international airport on June 22 and sent out of the country on the next flight.

    Chitown has the full article here :

    http://teakdoor.com/thailand-and-asi...ml#post1797998 (Hollywood actress blacklisted, deported from Myanmar)

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    "The Lady" Opens Rome Film Festival
    Friday, October 14, 2011


    Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh (L) and French director Luc Besson (R) pose at a gala presentation for their film 'The Lady' at the 16th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) on October 12, 2011 in Busan.
    (Photo: Getty Images)

    ROME — French director Luc Besson's "The Lady," about Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, will open this year's Rome Film Festival, organizers said Thursday.

    The Oct. 27-Nov. 4 festival will feature 15 in-competition films and conclude with a screening of a restored "Breakfast at Tiffany's" to mark the classic's 50th anniversary.

    "The Lady," which stars Michelle Yeoh and Daniel Thewelis, is being shown out of competition.

    Films vying for the Marc'Aurelio prizes include US director Tanya Wexler's "Hysteria," about the invention of the vibrator in Victorian England; "Hotel Lux" by German director Leander Haussmann and Norwegian director Pal Sletaune's "Babycall."

    Richard Gere is to receive a special actor's prize, while directors Wim Wenders and Michael Mann are expected to be on hand for audience talks.

    The jury of the sixth annual Rome Festival is headed by Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone and features Roberto Bolle, a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, and actresses Debra Winger and Carmen Chaplin.

    irrawaddy.org

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    I look forward to seeing the movie,she is an inspiration to all.

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    Suu Kyi lacks courage to watch film on her life
    2011-11-09

    Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's freed democracy leader, has admitted she has yet to summon up the courage to watch a film portraying her life, as it contains scenes depicting the deaths of her father and British husband.

    Suu Kyi, thanked French film director Luc Besson for his portrayal of her life that she believes will keep the spotlight on her country's struggle to shed its repressive regime.

    But even though Suu Kyi, asked for a copy of the film ahead of its release at the end of the month, she told the director she had not yet watched it.

    It addresses the deaths of her father, Burmese nationalist leader Gen Aung San who was assassinated, and husband, British academic Michael Aris, who died of cancer while she was in custody.

    One of the Nobel laureate's sons has watched The Lady, as Suu Kyi is universally-known in Burma, and "was very moved" by the story in which former Bond girl Michelle Yeoh plays the heroine, said Besson.

    Both Besson and the 48-year-old Hollywood actress met Suu Kyi in Rangoon soon after she was freed last year after spending most of the previous 20 years in detention.

    When Besson met Suu Kyi filming had already finished, the shooting having taken place in neighbouring Thailand where her lakeside villa that served as her prison was recreated down to the last details.

    But Besson told students that he filmed 17 hours of rushes on a hand-held camera while posing as a tourist, and superimposed actors on to the Burmese backdrops electronically.

    However, since completing the film's editing Besson sent Suu Kyi another message informing her of his progress.

    "She replied saying 'thank you, it sheds light on my country'," said Besson.

    "She told me 'I'll see it when I'm courageous enough'."

    mid-day.com

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    Published on 24 Aug 2011 by FilmsActuTrailers

    The Lady Trailer HD. + videos here : http://cinema.jeuxactu.com/news-cinema-the-lady-de-luc-besson-bande-annonce-1... The Lady Trailer, Directed By Luc Besson with Michelle Yeoh, David Thewlis

    youtube.com

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    Suu Kyi biopic big hit in pirated copies
    Friday, 03 February 2012

    They’re scratchy and poor pirated copies, but DVDs of “The Lady” are the rage in Rangoon now, perhaps because Aung San Suu Kyi has emerged in a more public way in the past several months.


    Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh smiles during a photo-op at a press conference promoting "The Lady," her latest film, while standing in front of a poster of herself as Aung San Suu Kyi in Bangkok in February.

    Photo: AFP

    Whole stalls are devoted to selling copies of the movies, and so far the authorities have done nothing to prevent vendors from selling cheap versions of the movie, according to an article in The Guardian newspaper published on Thursday.

    A dramatic narrative of Suu Kyi’s life, “The Lady,” a film by director Luc Besson, isn’t likely to be released in Burma, but it’s scheduled for release in the U.S. next month.

    Whether “The Lady” will ever be released in Burma may be the next great test of a democracy yet to come, said The Guardian.

    Actress Michelle Yeoh said playing Suu Kyi was the role of a lifetime. The Malaysian-born star said she remembers her pride when Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

    “She was fighting for democracy in a nonviolent way, where passion was the armor and love for liberty was the weapon,” Yeoh told The Associated Press as she promoted the movie in Thailand this week.

    Yeoh is internationally known for her roles in the James Bond movie “Tomorrow Never Dies,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Memoirs of a Geisha.”

    Yeoh met Suu Kyi in Rangoon in December 2010 when the film was in production, but the government deported her in June 2011, when she again visited the country.

    She told the AP, “She's one of those people that you meet and you'll never forget.” She said she was awe struck, but Suu Kyi quickly put her at ease.

    Suu Kyi told reporters in Rangoon in January that she has not watched the film. “I don't really like seeing films which are supposed to be about me,” she said.

    mizzima.com

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    'The Lady' is not for Myanmar audiences
    14/02/2012

    The long-awaited film The Lady, a biopic of Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, has now been shown in Thailand.


    A scene from the Luc Besson film, ‘‘The Lady’’, starring Michelle Yeoh, above, as Aung San Suu Kyi.


    It is also available on pirated DVD in Myanmar.

    Luc Besson, the director, said he did not want to focus on her life as a politician and instead he chose to portray The Lady on a very personal level, focusing on how a woman as a politician deals with her family life.

    I went to see The Lady with a big group of my Myanmar friends; some were actors who actually played roles in the film such as General Aung San, General Than Shwe and an NLD member. Others in the group were filmmakers from Myanmar who happened to be in Chiang Mai for the Lifescape Film Festival organised by Payap University.

    After the first few minutes, I was surprised to hear my friends giggling. The Lady is supposed to be a serious movie about contemporary Myanmar history _ a history these very people were a part of, about events in which they had participated and which eventually drove them into exile. They were supposed to be crying, not laughing. What was going on here?

    As the movie progressed, I came to understand why my friends thought The Lady was a joke.

    Luc Besson may have intended to make The Lady personal. It is not wrong to focus on the tragic love and incredible life of one woman who has stood up against one of the most brutal regimes in the world. What was disappointing about the film was not the plot, the acting or the cinematography, but Mr Besson's cultural ignorance and misrepresentation of Myanmar's history.

    Below are examples of what the Myanmar actors who played roles in the film, feel reflected the cultural ignorance of the director.

    On Mrs Suu Kyi's personal life, The Lady gets perspectives about her personality wrong. She appears to be crying a lot, which was not quite the case in reality. On Aug 26, 1988 when she speaks in front of a large crowd at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, she appears nervous and tells her husband that this is her first ever public speech. In fact, this was her second public speech and she was confident enough to do this without the presence of her husband, Michael Aris.

    The most serious historical inaccuracy lay in the fact that Michael Aris was not even there during the mass demonstration in Yangon. Mrs Suu Kyi had come to Myanmar to nurse her sick mother; her family had not followed her. She was there alone during the protest.

    While placing emphasis on the role of Michael Aris in her life, the film simultaneously makes her look less intelligent.

    Other things which the Myanmar audience sees as a misrepresentation of Burmese culture include the lip-kissing scenes between Mrs Suu Kyi and her husband, which appear often in the movie.

    Second is the scene where protesters of the Saffron Revolution walk to her house and stop there. Mrs Suu Kyi walks to the gate of her house and steps up above the gate to throw flowers to bless the monks, and the monks clap their hands. In reality, Mrs Suu Kyi opened the gate surrounded with security and paid her respects to the monks. My friends from Myanmar complained that, ''We Burmese never kiss publicly, and Burmese people never stand above monks.''

    Luc Besson may have wanted to dramatise Mrs Suu Kyi's love and family life, but in so doing he has portrayed the Myanmar people as ''savage and primitive''. Gen Than Shwe is presented as a stupid tyrant who believes in fortune-tellers. It is true that Myanmar's generals seek the advice of fortune-tellers, but they are not stupid enough to believe in everything these seers tell them.

    In the scene where they take NLD members to sweep for landmines, I too could not help but laugh to see the director portray Myanmar soldiers half-naked, with tattoos covering their faces. Some of my friends were riled by this. 'The army may be brutal, but they are not that savage. That scene makes them look as if they were from the Stone Age.''

    Pho Zaw, a Burmese migrant who stars as Gen Aung San, said he discovered many inaccuracies. For example, the sign of the NLD party that was written in Burmese contained misspellings. He also thought the scene when he gets assassinated has been wrongly represented. He said he told the director that this was wrong, but the reaction from Luc Besson was: ''This is a feature film, not a documentary.''

    To me, personally, one of the most disturbing aspects of the film is that Michael Aris seems to play a very important role in Mrs Suu Kyi's political life i.e. being with her during her first public speech, being present all the time during the student demonstrations, and lobbying for Mrs Suu Kyi's Nobel Peace Prize. The movie also presents him as a man unable to do anything when his wife is not around to cook and care for the family. It is true that this is not a documentary, but at least, could not the director have respected the fact that Mrs Suu Kyi is an intelligent woman? She has chosen her path. She would never ask the security in front of her house, ''Can you speak English?'' She is not a woman who cries all the time because her family has been torn apart. By making Michael Aris more important, Luc Besson has made Mrs Suu Kyi less intelligent. She is depicted as a simple housewife whose life is turned upside down.

    In the end, however, no matter how much cultural ignorance the director displays, how much he misrepresents Burmese culture, or how he displays Myanmar soldiers as savages, I must thank Luc Besson for making this film.
    Michelle Yeoh's performance is outstanding. And despite the flaws, I hope the film generates a sense of awareness for this corner of the world in which many problems are still waiting to be solved.

    Amporn Jirattikorn is a lecturer at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University.

    bangkokpost.com

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