Wednesday, May 9, 2012


 Autobiographical true story
Portions in Burmese with English subtitles

Burma is a country in South Asia bordered by India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand. Today it is known as Myanmar. The country was colonized by Britain in 1885 which brought social, economic, cultural and administrative changes to the once-feudal society.

Aung San Suu Kyi (aka Sue) was two years old when led by her father, Burma gained its independence. But soon after a civil war broke out among the country’s myriad ethnic groups which continued on and off until 1962 when a military junta took over the country by force.
Until a new constitution was adopted in 1974 Burma was ruled by a revolutionary council headed by the General of the Armed Forces. Almost all aspects of society (business, media, production) were nationalized or brought under repressive government control.

As an adult Sue obtained a B.A. degree from Oxford and got her first taste of politics working for U Thant, Burma’s representative to the United Nations, when he was elected Secretary-General of the UN in 1961. In 1972 she married a scholar of Tibetan culture Dr. Michael Aris. While bringing up their two sons she went on to earn a PhD at the University of London in 1985.

Michelle Yeoh: Aung San Suu Kyi "Sue"
David Thewlis: her husband professor Michael Aris
Jonathan Woodhouse: their first born son Alexander
Jonathan Raggett: the younger brother Kim 
Htun Lin: General Ne Win

The discriminating viewer will be rewarded with learning more about a charismatic world-class leader who was faced with having to decide between personal happiness and her people.

During the first fifteen minutes or so the movie jumps back and forth in time but these flashbacks serve only to confuse the issue since at that stage we are not yet familiar with the characters on screen. But apart from that, the film has so much going for it: great acting, beautiful cinematography, excellent pacing, a well written story and a lovely score.

Although the running time is just over two hours, it is not a minute too long as this is one film with a lot to say and that cannot be rushed.

 for violence including some bloody images.

From the Daily Mail, March 30, 2012 edition:
Aung San Suu Kyi today proclaimed a triumph for the Burmese people as her party claimed to have won every single seat it contested in the weekend's historic elections. Miss Suu Kyi, leader of the struggle against military rule in Burma for two decades, was one of 44 candidates her National League for Democracy Party that won seats. Speaking to a crowd of cheering supporters at the NLD's headquarters in Yangon she called on all parties to support reconciliation and said the election marks a 'new era' for the country.

P.S.S. I would have given the movie a 6 star rating but I'd be breaking my own rules. Bummer!

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