Aung San Suu Kyi's Life Under Arrest (first feature)

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Aung San Suu Kyi's Life Under Arrest (Vita agli arresti di Aung San Suu Kyi)

Aung San Suu Kyi's Life Under Arrest (Vita agli arresti di Aung San Suu Kyi)

original title:

Vita agli arresti di Aung San Suu Kyi

directed by:


Ermanna Montanari, Elio De Capitani, Roberto Magnani, Sonia Bergamasco, Vincenzo Nemolato, Luca Fagioli, Christian Giroso, Sara Briccolani, Alessandra Brusi, Catalina Burioli, Olimpia Isola, Ippolita Ginevra Santandrea, Benedetta Velotti, Alice Protto, Massimiliano Rassu.


Marco Martinelli, from his theatre play with the same title


set design:

Edoardo Sanchi


Teatro delle Albe – Ravenna Teatro, Kamera Film, StartCinema, with the support of Regione Emilia Romagna, Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna, Unipol Gruppo Finanziario, CMC – Cooperativa Muratori e Cementisti, Emilia-Romagna Film Commission





film run:




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Six children narrate a piece of contemporary history in the story-evocation of the “life under arrest” of Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the movement for democracy in Burma and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. A story-evocation that comes to life in a large warehouse and then leads us into a spiral of places of a surreal and figurative flavour where there is an alternation of the children’s voices with that of Aung San Suu Kyi in person, of Burma generals, of the evoked Nat-ghosts and of many others protagonists of our story.

To debut in cinema at 60 years of age is exciting, especially after more than 30 years of theatre in which the project of a film has often been fondled and brushed against by means of subjects that have ended up in the drawer, collaboration on scripts, published treatments. When you start out at 60 your mind is full of the history of the cinema that nourished you from age twenty, from Dziga Vertov to Kaurismaki by way of Fellini and Pasolini: a cinema of art and poetry which for decades has nourished my theatre of art. My plays have always looked at the cinema, recounting mythologies of the present.
Such a vision could not but encounter Aung San Suu Kyi and her “spiritual revolution”. Thus arose the idea for the show AUNG SAN SUU KYI’S LIFE UNDER ARREST which premiered in December 2014. After the theatre debut, perhaps it was precisely that visual dramaturgy which imposed itself at a certain point and demanded the cinema. That one vision should give life to another. I wrote and rewrote to transform the text of the play into a film script. Inspired in imagination and everything related thereto by artists like Derek Jarman and Sergej Iosifovič Paradžanov with their visionary and ritual approach, Aung San Suu Kyi’s Life Under Arrest stands out in the cinema world for its originality, making it a film that succeeds in coupling narration and the visionary with great balance.