I kept seeing posters for this movie when I was in London during the Christmas holiday. I remember being intrigued (I barely knew anything about Aung San Suu Kyi, only that she was a Nobel Peace Prize winner under house arrest in Burma), but not enough to actually summon the initiative to get myself into a theater and see it.
Yesterday, thanks to a few friends, I found my butt seated in the cinema, eyes glued to the screen, watching one of the most powerful love stories I’ve seen on film. It was even more moving because I knew it was all factual, and that the story hasn’t even reached its conclusion to this day. Notably, this woman’s love for country and sense of duty is so admirable. What she sacrificed - her entire life (15 years under house arrest), her family, the love of her life - is to me unbearable; I can’t imagine how strong her will and love for country must be.
A few interesting facts:
Michelle Yeoh studied Burmese for the film, and filmed some scenes (like Suu Kyi’s historic speeches) in the character’s native tongue.
Once or twice the filming of a scene had to be ceased because Michelle Yeoh’s performance of a speech (in Burmese) elicited outbursts of emotion among Burmese extras who had back then listened to the real Suu Kyi.
During the shooting of the film, news broke that Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest had been lifted. Luc Besson hesitated to believe what he saw on TV because it looked so much like his recent footage.
Yeoh used her spare time to visit Suu Kyi immediately.
On 22 June 2011 Yeoh wanted to visit Suu Kyi a second time but was deported from Burma, reportedly over her portrayal of Aung San Suu Kyi.
On the evening of 13 November 2010, Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest. On 18 January 2012, Suu Kyi formally registered to contest a Pyithu Hluttaw (lower house) seat in the Kawhmu Township constituency in special parliamentary elections to be held on 1 April 2012.