EXEC PRODS Elizabeth Karlsen, Doug Mankoff, Deepa Mehta, Salman Rushdie, Steven Silver, Andrew Spaulding, Stephen Wooley
PROD David Hamilton
SCR Salman Rushdie
CAM Giles Nuttgens
ED Colin Monie
PROD DES Errol Kelly, Dilip Mehta
MUS Nitin Sawhney
PROD CO Number 9 Films / David Hamilton Productions / Hamilton-Mehta Productions
Salman Rushdie’s second novel Midnight’s Children (1980) was a milestone in many ways: its overwhelming reception confirmed India and its diasporas as a major force in post-colonial English fiction. It bucked the then-pervasive minimalism of literary fiction, breathing a second wind into maximalist, magical realism and historical fiction. It was rich, exhilarating stuff and it launched the career of a literary superstar, winning the Booker and the two "Best of the Bookers" awarded on the 25th and 40th anniversaries of the award.
This epic, allegorical tale of two Indian children, one Muslim, one Hindu, both born at midnight on August 15, 1947—the day India became independent—and both switched at birth has finally reached the big screen, courtesy of the artistry of Deepa Mehta. Featuring a script written by Rushdie himself, it was filmed secretly in Sri Lanka last year, in the hopes of avoiding protestors’ attentions.
Mehta, the Indian-born-and-raised director and longtime Canadian citizen best known for her lyrical and controversial “Elements” trilogy—Fire (1996), Earth (1998) and Water (2005)—is a natural collaborator for Rushdie. They are similar in age. Both have bodies of work that study the post-colonial landscape with passion and intelligence, revealing the complex and surprising ways in which our imperial heritage has liberated and cursed us. Mehta’s lyrical style has been taking on increasing elements of magical realism in recent years and she has brought Rushdie’s sprawling, hypnagogic tale to the screen in all its pomp and finery.