The film focusses on the great sacrifice she had to make in being separated from her husband and two sons while under house arrest. Even when her husband was dying of cancer she refused to visit him in Oxford as she knew she wouldn't be able to return to work for democracy in her homeland if she did so. Here was a strong and courageous woman dedicated to a cause that was greater than family and friends and supported by them. They too sacrificed a lot for freedom and democracy. Aung San Suu Kyi has become an iconic figure, a figure of a gentle strength and dedication that refused to be overpowered by fear or oppression, who stood up for truth and justice in the face of violence and injustice.
For me her real greatness was her demeanour when she was released from house arrest. She was strong in her convictions but gentle in her approach, calling for dialogue and cooperation with the military government. Her long years of house arrest had not embittered her but given her a dignity and wisdom that might only come as a result of suffering. in this she was like Nelson Mandela whose years of imprisonment left him with an open and forgiving heart that sought truth, forgiveness and reconciliation.
Someone once remarked to me that it was a privilege to live in the same age as Nelson Mandela and i would say the same for Aung Saan Suu Kyi. I'm not suggesting they are saints but their nobility of spirit has, I think, changed the human condition. Just as Roger Bannister, the first person to run the four minute mile, opened up possibilities for other athletes to transcend what now seems rather a slow time, people such and Mandela and Suu Kyi show us human possibilites in the work for justice and peace and have cleared the way for our doing likewise. It seems to me that this is what the great religious founders did. The Buddha by his enlightenment made it possible for us to become enlightened, Jesus by his total love for others, especially the poor and marginalised made it possible for us to transcend selfishness and live in solidarity with others. These are indeed saviour figures and even from a purely human perspective have offered a way of salvation to humanity. Of course there are others like Hitler who have done the very opposite and diminished humanity by their hatred and evil ways. It is up to us to choose which way is ours.