Midnight's Children, a literary classic long described as "unfilmable," finally hits Canadian theatres this weekend — a labour of love and dream come true for filmmaker Deepa Mehta and author Salman Rushdie.
The pair worked for years to bring the Booker Prize-winning magic realism novel to the movie screen. They previously unveiled the film at the Toronto International Film Festival as well as at the Vancouver and Calgary film festivals.
Following the birth of modern India from independence through the partition era, Midnight's Children blends fantastical and magical elements with historical events.
After they were introduced some years ago, the Indo-British writer and Indo-Canadian filmmaker began discussing a possible collaboration. Mehta says she blurted out her interest in Midnight's Children and Rushdie helped kick start the production by offering her the film rights for just $1.
"When he writes about the characters, I know them. Those are like my aunts. That's my mother. That's my grandfather," Toronto-based Mehta told CBC News during TIFF.
"I know the school [the book's protagonist] Saleem [Sinai] went to. I know the ghettos. I can smell them."
Midnight's Children opens in Halifax, Toronto and Vancouver on Friday, before expanding to cinemas in other Canadian cities in coming weeks.