Real Man Behind Oscar-nominated Film ‘Lion’ Tells Why it’s Important to Share Even Difficult Personal Stories
By Mariah Proctor
If you haven’t seen the 2016 film Lion, the emotional and gripping tale of a young Indian boy separated from his family and his long journey to find them again, you are missing out.
There is a reason this film earned six Academy Award nominations including best picture, but this past weekend at RootsTech when the real Saroo Brierly—whose story the film chronicles—came to speak, he shared that it was a story he was initially very hesitant to share with anyone. “This is very private information,” he said, “what will the world think about a story like this?”
And a truly harrowing story it is. Saroo was only five years old, living in the slums of a town in India, when he followed his older brother to the train station in a neighboring town. His brother noticed how exhausted he was becoming and so he told Saroo to wait there on a nearby bench and he’d be back. Saroo went to sleep for what might have been an hour, or might have been three or four, but when he awoke, his brother was nowhere to be seen..
Wondering if his brother was on the train in front of him, he boarded in his still groggy and disoriented state. This train would take him nearly a thousand miles away to Calcutta, leaving his hometown and his childhood there behind for good.