Waiting for Aung San
The long awaited movie changes director, adding delays.
WILL the latest movie about Aung San film become a classic like Richard Attenborough’s 1982 Gandhi, or Steven Spielberg Lincoln ? There has been great expectation and curiosity surrounding the film initially given to direct to Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi’s, but which changed hands.
Replacing the well-known director, Actor Lu Min who has been entrusted on October 7 to write the script of Aung San’s biography, which release has been long-delayed since it was pitched in 2012
The well-known director Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi was previously assigned to filming and rewriting the script. As he failed to complete the script within the time allotted by the committee, the latter had assigned actor Lu Min to the task. People raised concerns over Lu Min’s aptitudes as a screenwriter due to his little experience in writing and directing films. Lu Min made a name for himself as a two-time Academy award winner and for his performance in the 2005 Mystery of Snow and for directing the historical drama about King Kyan Sit the same year.
“My close friends and families enjoin me not to take on the responsibility because it was too heavy. In Myanmar, criticism comes before the work start. The criticisms are more destructive than constructive. I think I have to tolerate that burden,” director Lu Min told The Myanmar Times, a day after accepting the responsibilities on October 8.
Efforts to film the Aung San movie began in 2012 soon after Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, daughter of general Aung San expressed her wish to make a biopic about her father’s life.
It has been six years into the process. The filming has been delayed due to shortage of funds, lack of experience in creating such a biopic, divergence over the hiring of foreign experts, and the script.
Actor Lu Min will freshen the original script written by director Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi and Wyne. The original script had been checked for historical accuracy. The script includes the period between Aung San’s birth in 1915 and his assassination in 1947, covering his early life, life as a soldier, political life, family life and his assassination.
“Bogyoke died young but he successfully carried out many duties during short period of life. As mother Su (Daw Aung San Suu Kyi) said, filming Bogyoke’s life is documenting the history of independence. The young generation do not know about Bogyoke, father of the independence,” Lu Min said.
Kyaw Kyaw Myo, former footballer at KBZ football club gave up the ball for the screen to play Aung San in the biopic in 2012. He has been training for six years for the role. The actor is able to tell Bogyoke’s speeches in English and in Japanese and he is receiving horse riding training.
“For historical documents such as the original Panlong Agreement, related ministries will help us with them such. We have the costumes Bogyoke wore,” he said.
For the car, U Zaw Htoo, an antique car collector in Yangon has a similar model, RC2874 (Woesely), similar to Bogyoke’s vehicle and produced the same year.
If required, Buses used at Bogyoke Aung San’s time will be borrowed from a tour company in Bagan which still uses them.
“People’s expectations are too high. It’s my biggest challenge. They worry for the quality of the film because they love and respect Bogyoke. I want to ask the people not to worry. We have the budget and related ministries will provide materials if needed,” Lu Min added.
The film will be shot in 2019 and screened in 2020.
Former Bogyoke Aung San Film Executive Board auditions actors in 2012.
Actor Lu Min speaks on October 8.