Jan 29, 2017

Lion: A Review

I went to see Lion at the theater a couple of weeks ago.  I was deeply moved by this lost and found tale of an Indian boy.  Within minutes of the beginning of the story I was in tears. 

Poverty was a stark reality for Saroo and Gaddu. Their father left them and the mother tried to make a living by moving rocks. In hopes of helping their mother they went to look for things they could sell or coins that fell to the ground by the passengers on the train. Saroo was only five years old, and was not able to stay awake while they looked around the train station. Gaddu left Saroo on a bench to sleep, promising to come back. Saroo woke during the night and his brother never came back. Saroo looked everywhere for his brother but wasn't able to locate him. Saroo searched a train that was stopped at the station and he fell asleep on one of the seats. The train began to move and it took Saroo on a long trip across the country. 

He ended up living on the streets of Calcutta for three weeks and then was adopted by an Australian couple. He didn't know his last name or the city he lived in. The authorities began a search for Saroo's family but nothing came of it. Saroo lived in Australia for 25 years but always longed for his family. Then his search began.  Google Earth was his vice to find his family. 

The film is based on a true story which makes it more compelling to watch.  Dev Patel does an excellent job portraying Saroo Brierley. 

Jan 22, 2017

Photography Exhibition

Friday evening was the opening for the IPFW Professional Photography Graduate Exhibit at the Garrett Museum of Art. The place was packed from 6-8 pm with barely enough room to move around.  We filled the museum with our fine art photographs that we compiled throughout the year. 

I think that I worked harder for this certificate than I did my degree or maybe I wanted it more.  The experience of this exhibit made me feel like a celebrity for a couple of hours. But more than this, the support from friends and co-workers was overwhelming. I talked of nothing but the exhibit for months and I am sure that they were sick of hearing about it.

During the evening, I thought about my parents, especially my mother. She would have been so proud.  

Jan 3, 2017

Cloning and having a soul

I just finished reading the book Never let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro.  I've never been one of those who reads all of the most popular books that are out currently.  Sometimes it takes me years to get to some of those books if at all. I found this by chance while looking for something to watch on YouTube. I watched a snippet and decided that this would be interesting to watch.  Then I went to my local resale shop and found both the book and the DVD. 

When the first sheep was cloned back in 1996 and Dolly arrived on the world's platform, I was amazed. Somehow, I felt that maybe we trying to fill God's shoes in the creating department or on the verge of it anyway.  Then I began to wonder if the sheep had a soul or if any being that was created in the lab had a soul. Does it or doesn't it? Isn't there something magical that happens at conception? 

The story centers around three characters, Kathy, the story teller, Tommy, and Ruth. Kathy narrates this sordid tale about their secluded existence in a place called Hailsham. The children were treated very well at this home for clones, unlike some of the other centers around the country we hear about in the story. All of the children are the same age, which piqued my interest more deeply as I read. It is hinted to them what their short lives will consist of but it is never out in plain sight. They are lied to, tricked, and manipulated so that they will be resigned to the fate for which they were created. 

They were encouraged to be creative and if they became good enough their "art" was taken to Madam's gallery.  Everyone aspired to have their work at the gallery even though they would never get to see it on display. If a student doesn't do well creatively they are made fun of by the other students. Why did they have such an intense focus on being creative?  Hint: It has to do with the soul. 

If you never read another book then this one should be your last. I was enthralled by this novel and how it played out.  Throughout the story I kept asking myself what I would do if I were in that situation.  The author kept my mind twisting and turning the whole time, not wanting to look at the horror of their lives, but peeking nonetheless.