Monday, June 18, 2012

Peaceful Freedom Fighter of Burma in Magnificent Film, "The Lady"

Last weekend I was given an unexpected opportunity to see the film The Lady that was showing at the new Mary D. Fisher Theater in Sedona, AZ. It is a magnificent film that came out late last year about one amazing woman, Aung San Suu Kyi, known as the "peaceful freedom fighter" - and her man, the academic writer Michael Aris - who have been holding space for democracy in Burma, despite all odds. It is a French-English co-production, directed by Luc Besson, "a man who carries utter respect for women." The same person says that "I genuinely think the purpose of this film isn’t about vanity but to show to everyone out [in the world] what happened in Burma and the courageous work and choices Aung Aan Suu Kyi has achieved for her country."

I have just discovered that you can view this moving, powerful film showing the ongoing battle between light and dark taking place in Burma online; here is the link where you can do that. Michelle Yeoh, the well known and brilliant, beautiful Malaysian actress (Memoirs of a Geisha and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and David Thewlis (Harry Potter film series and Kingdom of Heaven), who portrays Suu Kyi's steadfast life partner Michael Aris, do a magnificent job of portraying this love story fraught with drama and violence.

One of the most moving parts of the film is when Michael is dying of cancer. He's only a 53-year-old man, has been separated from his wife for years now, and between the two of them they have two grown teenage boys by then. Suu Kyi is given the choice to go back to see her husband - who's now on hospice - and not be allowed to re-enter Burma, or to remain in Burma while her husband is dying in the U.K. She makes a very difficult choice and decides to stay in Burma with her people. It is clear in the film that the two of them, as a couple have been very dedicated to the democratic movement in Burma, so we assume that Suu Kyi, despite her deep grief and pain, must have on some level known that Michael would understand, and perhaps even appreciate her decision to stay with her family and supporters in Burma.

Anyone interested in justice, peace, non-violence, and freedom will appreciate this film. I highly recommend that you see it. I believe that it did not get the justice it deserves in the regular theaters and film circles, as I had not even heard of it until now.

Aung San Suu Kyi's haunting words that we are left with at the close of the film are: "Use your liberty to promote ours."

May we use our liberty - and abundance and peace - to promote the liberty, abundance, and peace of Burma, and those other countries that are still struggling on this magnificent Planet Earth, Dancing heart~~~~