TIFF Spotlight: The Lady
TIFF is known for heralding movies with unique visual storytelling and this year was no exception. So far we’ve seen the dizzying city scapes in Urbanized, punk aesthetics in Sons of Norway and the glorious high heeled mania in the opening scene of Christoph Honore‘s Beloved. But the one film that kept my eye’s attention so far is Luc Besson‘s The Lady, where Aung San Suu Kyi (Michelle Yeoh) leaves her housewife duties to be on the forefront for a free Burma.
I don’t want to seem like I’m being frivolous on such a reverent story, as most female politicians do get judged on their looks. Besson and Yeoh’s version of Suu is external and internal elegance, with flowers on her hair and sarong while making speeches in Rangoon’s streets. There’s often some sweat on the back of her silk shirt, a sign that she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty with her hard work. She travels to see and promote democracy to women in different regions in their local costumes and tattoos. It’s not just these women’s presence that captivates – it’s also the colourful Burmese flags waved by protesters despite threats from the regime, the trees populating Burma’s valleys, its beauty waiting for the potential of a democracy. The film shows a part of Burma’s rich yet volatile history. Suu, also the daughter of a martyred general who tried to bring human rights to the country, captures the nation’s heart.
Watch out for more TIFF spotlights!