Deepa Mehta says her upcoming film 'Midnight's Children, which faced some crticism for its negative portrayal of former prime minister Indira Gandhi, has nothing "historically inaccurate".
Deepa Mehta, the Indo-Canadian director of the Oscar-nominated best foreign language film Water from Canada, poses outside the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, on Friday, February 23, 2007. The 79th Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, February 25, 2007.
The movie, based on Salman Rushdie's Booker Prize winning novel of the same name, screened at
the recently concluded Kerala International Film Festival where a former minister had criticised it for showing Indira Gandhi in poor light.
"Emergency is a reality and the facts are accurate otherwise censor board wouldn't have been so generous with me. There is nothing which is not historically accurate in it.
"The film is not just about Mrs Gandhi but it is an aspect of what happened. I don't think she is portrayed in any other way except in a very accurate way," Deepa said in an interview here.
The director is also making changes in the map of India as the earlier version did not show Jammu and Kashmir as part of Indian territory.
"I did not know about it. I wish I had. We have to show Jammu and Kashmir as our territory and I am making the changes," she said.
It took Deepa 12 weeks to shoot the movie and more than a year to adapt it. She says she had a good time working with Rushdie, who has written the screenplay of the movie.
"Salman wasn't very keen on doing it initially because he thought he has written the novel and now I should just run with it. But I felt that I needed someone to write the screenplay who could be actually not intimidated by the process of elimination.
"It was challenging at first but it was a great experience because Salman has a great sense of cinema and he is also very cinematic. I had a good time, which in retrospective, is bizarre," Deepa says.
She also says the novelist will be in the country to promote the movie.
"I am sure he will be coming, I was told that he will be here for the publicity of the movie when it opens in February.
He just loves the movie."