The Lady tells the story of Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Lady tells the story of Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Lady, first film club offering of Williams Lake’s new season

Yes, it is time for the Williams Lake Film Club to start its next season.

Yes, it is time for the Williams Lake Film Club to start its next season.

We will present our first film next Tuesday, Sept. 11, at the Gibraltar Room at 7 p.m. Back doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Admission will be $9 regular, $8 for members, and $6 for seniors, elders, and students. No changes there. And all proceeds will once again go to support the LDA to help students with learning disabilities right here  in our community.  Last season we were able to raise $4,000 for this purpose. Thank you all!

We start our season with a great film, The Lady.

This is the extraordinary story of Aung San Suu Kyi from Burma, who stood up to the military, to the government, to fight for democracy for her country.

She was condemned to 15 years of house arrest for her conviction, not able to see her husband, not able to see her two growing sons who were all living in England.

It is a story of distance, long separations, a dangerously hostile regime, of devotion and human understanding set against a backdrop of political turmoil that continues today. It is a story that will touch your heart, that will make you ask yourself — how far would you go for your true convictions? And most of all, it is a true story, unfolding right before our eyes still today.

The film begins with a flashback to 1947 when her father Aung San, a revolutionary general regarded as the father of modern Burma, says a tender goodbye to the two-year-old Suu in the garden of the grand family water-side mansion before he is driven off to work — where he is shot dead.

So begins a film that’s part history lesson, part admiring profile.

Then, jumping forward to 1988 and 1989, it quickly establishes the brutal nature of the military dictatorship crushing human rights in Burma.

Anyone who keeps up with world affairs would be aware of the big picture, but director Luc Besson shows us some of the detail — where the devil definitely lives.

But what the film does best is what writer Rebecca Frayn and director Luc Besson seem to have set out to do, namely to explore the extraordinary bonds of the family relationships that endure through extended separation and intense pressure.

 

David Thewlis gives husband Michael Aris a palpable sense of resilience as he provides full moral support to his wife, and sharing her dream of a democratic Burma. When he is diagnosed with prostate cancer, his burdens magnify.

 

 

The repeated crackdowns by the generals and their determination to crush the movement Suu inspires is effectively shown. When Michael triggers a move to recognize his Suu with a Nobel Peace Prize, it is as much a political maneuver as an act of loving support. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

Her husband and her two sons went to Sweden to receive the prize.

Aung Sn Suu Kyi was finally released from house arrest on the evening of Nov. 13, 2010 and on June 16, 2012.Aung San  Suu Kyi was finally able to deliver her Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in person at Oslo’s City Hall, two decades after being awarded this honour.

This is a film for thinking people, not for action fans.

The Lady is recommended for anyone interested in how a lone woman can alter history with a strict code of anti-violence — as did moral giants such as Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela among others.

It’s inspirational and reassuring: humans can redeem themselves and dictators shall perish.

It is a film that will stay with you for a long time ….

See you next Tuesday — and remember, memberships will be available at the door, $10 per person.

 

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