London: A new film titled ‘The Lady’ based on the life of Aung San Suu Kyi is set for release in Britain this week.
The film portrays the private tragedy of Burma’s icon of democracy, who is played by Asian star Michelle Yeoh.
The already slender Yeoh lost 8kg and learned Burmese to play Suu Kyi as well as researching the part by “reading everything she has ever written”.
“You see something, and you know it’s going to be special,” Sky News quoted Yeoh as saying.
“I contacted my manager in Los Angeles and said ‘please find the people making this film’. It must have been fate, because they were looking for me as well,” she revealed.
The background to the film is political - the democracy protests that began in 1988, Suu Kyi’s reluctant leadership, the violent reaction by Burma’s military dictators, and the politician’s 15 years of house arrest.
But the heart of the story is personal - the terrible choices that Burma’s generals imposed on a wife and mother who never wanted to be a political leader.
“She is a mother of two but also the mother of a nation. They forced her to choose between her family and her country. They tried to break her spirit,” said Yeoh.
Suu Kyi’s British husband, Michael Aris - played in the film by David Thewlis - died of cancer while his wife remained in Burma.
Yeoh says she and the film’s director Luc Besson both wanted to make “a human drama and tell the love story with her husband.”