Yesterday a dear friend of mine who is wise beyond her years (14 year old Stella Peters!) recommended a film that reminded her of me. It's a stunning Indie film called "Lion" starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. I'll just tell you right off the bat that this movie moved me to tears. My eyes were glued to the screen every second with some of my own childhood memories growing up in Manila coming to the surface. We follow the journey of five year old Saroo getting lost on a train, separated from his family, taking him 900 miles away across India. He is ultimately adopted by an Australian couple, starting a new life in Tasmania. 25 years later with the help of Google Earth and a handful of memories, he sets out on a mission to find his family.
We're invited to step back in time, 1986 to be exact, in a world before social media, cell phones, Google, etc. existed. In a world where when you got lost, you had to be resourceful as fuck. The bold, resilient, and determination of little Saroo (performed by Sunny Pawar) wins the audience over, that in all honesty could easily prompt people to make a beeline to the next Indian adoption center. 25 years later, Saroo is filled with an insatiable pull of his birth home, painstakingly retracing his steps using what little but vivid memories he has left of his hometown which are getting fuzzier by the minute. The film editing during the scene where Saroo arbitrarily stumbles upon his home town on Google Earth made me an absolute wreck. I don't believe in miracles. I rely on them. Easily the best film of the year in my humble opinion.
This film stands out in inspirational story telling so please, if you'd like to start off your 2017 in an uplifting and positive fashion, head over to your nearest arthouse/indie cinema and watch this brilliant tale of hope, joy and relief . It shows us that the concept of home goes beyond the physical place. Definitely stick around for the end of the film to catch a glimpse of the real life Saroo. The resemblances are uncanny.