Luc Besson’s film The Lady premiered at IFFI 2011 in Goa but the fate of its Indian release was hanging in the balance. However since Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Burma’s national heroine Aung San Suu Kyi recently, the film may finally see a release in India.
Michelle Yeoh who is essaying the role of the pro-democratic Burma leader describes her meeting with Suu Kyi as “special”. She says, “She practices all the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and even Nelson Mandela. She is their female form, fighting a similar battle for her country as they did for theirs.”
Suu Kyi actually studied and lived in India for a brief period and is deeply familiar with Indian culture. The film was written over a period of three years after conducting interviews with key figures in Suu Kyi’s entourage.
The Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon actor adds, “For me, I was just meeting my hero. Because when you have learnt so much about a person you want to see for yourself if they are really like what you are studying and embodying. You feel such peace and warmth when you find out that she is like that, someone who is so selfless and generous in spirit, compassionate and wise but at the same time quick to laugh. It was a remarkable and memorable moment for me.”
Luc Besson’s film focuses on Suu Kyi’s non-violent protests and the fasts she observed for the freedom of her country, much like Gandhi. The actor-director duo even arranged a screening for the Dalai Lama. Michelle says, “Suu Kyi always says, ‘Use your freedom to promote ours’. That’s what we did. I know that every time an artist can talk about Burma, about her, or about the fight, she is happy.”