Midnight's Children at TIFF
By A Correspondent
Midnight's Children, written and directed by noted Indo-Canadian filmmaker, Deepa Mehta, is a 2012 Canadian-American film adaptation of British-Indian writer, Salman Rushdie's Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name, portraying India's transition from British rule to independence.
Rushdie is also a co-producer for the movie and has also lent his voice to the story.
Deepa Mehta first took up the challenge of adapting the tale about four years ago and has been collaborating all the while with Rushdie, who offered her the film rights for $1 to help kick-start the production.
A pair of children, born within moments of India gaining independence from Britain, grow up in the country that is nothing like their parent's generation, and how their lives eventually become linked to their country's journey through the twentieth century.
Rushdie’s book has an unflattering portrayal of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi and her suspension of democracy in India between 1975 and 1977, a period known as The Emergency, led to the author being sued for defamation by the premier in 1984. Gandhi won the case shortly before her assassination that year and the publishers were forced to slightly alter the text to remove an offending passage.
Sri Lanka was chosen as the best possible place to recreate the India of the past century. The film began principal photography in Colombo, Sri Lanka in February 2011 and wrapped in May 2011. Shooting was kept a secret as Mehta feared protests by Islamic fundamentalist groups.
The film has been shown at the Toronto International Film Festival, in September, and the Vancouver International Film Festival, and the BFI London Film Festival.