The Ladyis one of the really good movies I’ve watched recently. I remember seeing the promotional poster somewhere, and while I knew it was Michelle Yeoh playing the lead, the whole get-go screamed ASSK. And I’m glad I watched it. It was a film about passion, about standing up for what you believe to be right, and for staring death in the eye.
I may not have been to that land before, though some of my friends have, and I’m still looking for travel buddies garang enough to brave the cockroaches and bugs there. They might need to get rid of some for me too – I can’t deal with flying bee-like insects. My ex domestic helper was born and bred there. When she came, her suitcase was full of food “in case there was nothing for her to eat”, her father said. The first few months, she woke up to every tiny noise in the night. Even pouring a mug of water was enough to wake her, and she would run out to see what had happened. Fear. She would only eat twice a day, because her stomach didn’t allow her to eat more. It was just bread, milk+salt, and instant noodles. And when she washed the dishes, she would let the water fall on her hands while her eyes gazed out into the horizon, her thoughts and heart hundreds of kilometres away. Peace. So that is what I know of Myanmar. Oh, and I do know that the food is resplendent with fish sauce. She would go through one bottle every other week.
So back to the movie. People asked how a housewife could have the kind of courage to do that. I ask how anyone could have the courage to do that, knowing full well you could die. To her, and to the people who laboured to put together the docu-tainment, or edu-mentary if you like, I salute you.