Last week I went along to an early screening of the film, Lion, at the Nova Theatre. I was eager to see the film, based on the book, A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierly, who at five years old became lost on India’s rail system and found himself in Kolkata. He was eventually taken to a children’s home and adopted by a Tasmanian couple, Sue and John Brierley. Twenty-five years later Saroo decided to search for his family in India using Google Earth.
The film is a heart-touching and emotional journey directed by Australian Garth Davis. Actor Dev Patel plays the adult Saroo and seamlessly delivers an Australian accent. Sunny Pawar is a stand-out as five-year-old Saroo and Nicole Kidman delivers a sensitive performance as Sue Brierley.
Naturally, Lion is a tear jerker and there were very few people with dry eyes when the lights came on. Saroo Brierley and mum Sue were in attendance at the end of the session for a Q & A. The love and strong bond between them was immediately apparent. Saroo talked about his experiences in the film as well as the process of making the movie. It struck me what a remarkable, resilient person he is to have lived his story. Sue talked about her experience of adoption. It took 16 years before she could adopt with husband John under Australian laws. Sue also drew attention to the #Lionheart campaign, launched to raise awareness of the 80,000 children who go missing in India each year and the 11 million children who live on the streets.
I highly recommend going along to see Lion and Saroo’s book is available in most bookstores, so why not check out both.
Donations to #Lionheart campaign can be made on the film’s official website.
Details for the Nova Cinema are here.