Dallas International Film Festival–Friday

Today is the first real full day of the Dallas International Film Festival.  Thursday night was the opening gala at the new Look Theaters on Preston at Beltline.  Every film was sold-out on the opening. A very successful start to the 10 day long exhibition.

Today, I checked out the red-carpet at the Angleika.  Filmmakers and cast members were in attendance, answering questions from different members of the media.  Many of these videos will be viewed worldwide via the internet while others will be shown on local televion.  Reporters were decked out in their finest, on the off chance that they too would appear in the shots.  Photographers snapped hundreds of digital images of every person who trodded the crimson flooring.  It was a frantic scene held together with the subtle grace of promotions maven Kelly Kitchens.

Since I had a very little time to dedicate to film on Friday, I had to limit my choice to one film.  I picked Midnight's Children.  It is adapted from the novel by Salman Rushdie and directed by Deepa Mehta. Before the film started, the director of the Dallas Internation Film fesival brought up a special surpise.  Satya Bhabha, the star of the film, was in attendance.  He introduced the film and agreed to answer questions after the film screened.

The film is an epic tale of India independence with magical elements.  Midnight's Children starts in the early 1900s with an English doctor coming to India and falling in love.  Eventually he has three daughters.  One of these daughters has a son on the moment that India gets its independence from England. At that same moment, a baby boy is born to a poor begger woman. The nurse at the hospital switches the names on the two boys.  She does this to make the poor rich and the rich poor.  

The story is how these two boys grow to men as India grows as a country.  The two boys are mentally bonded with the other children who were born on that night, the group the call Midnight's Children.  They all have different magical powers but are connected by their birth.

The work is a giantantic 2 1/2 hour tale of love and loss, jealousy and mysticism that shows how romamce and war can coexist with different people.  Many in the audience were moved by the flickering images while others thought it was too long.  

After the screening Satya was greated with thunderous appaluse.  He answered questions from the audience about India and how an Englishman reacts to going back to his grandparents birth.   Once the screening was over, he went into the lobby of the theater and took pictures and signed autographs for admiring fans.

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