Suu Kyi lacks courage to watch film on her life

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'."

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