Human Rights Film Award for Aung San Suu Kyi
At the Cinema for Peace Gala in Berlin the International Human Rights Film Award has been presented to Aung San Suu Kyi, portrayed in Luc Besson's film The Lady. In a video message, Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi kindly accepted the award.
The International Human Rights Film Award is an award by Amnesty International, Cinema for Peace and the Human Rights Film Network. Each year, the award laureates a human rights defender that was portrayed in a recent feature or documentary film. In the presence of many politicians and celebrities, director Luc Besson and actress Michelle Yeoh received the award, presented on stage by Bianca Jagger and German comedian and filmmaker Michael Mittermeier.
The Lady tells the story of Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who as a little girl is forced to flee Burma. She builds up a happy existence in England together with her husband Michael and their sons. When returning to her home country years later, she is deeply shocked by the military violence. Following her heart, she goes on a non-violent crusade against the regime. Michael’s boundless love and support provide her the strength of will she needs to continue her struggle. In the end, however, she has to make a cruel choice between her country and her family. The Lady is a story of devotion and human understanding set against a background of political turmoil which continues today; it is also the story of the peaceful quest of the woman who is at the core of Burma's democracy movement.
Cinema for Peace raises awareness for the social impact that film can have. The organisation invites key figures around the world to its annual awards ceremony and gala during the Berlin Film Festival Berlinale. This year’s attendees included Angelina Jolie – who was honored for her directorial debut In the Land of Blood of Honey. Dutch filmmakers Hans Hermans and Martin Maat received the Cinema for Peace Justice Award for their documentary Justice for Sergei.