Saroo, a 5-year-old, gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. 25 years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.
Lion is a powerful film for a number of reasons, partly because it shines lighton the cruel reality of poverty and child exploitation, but it also explores the beauty of adoption and the power of unconditional love from Saroo’s two mothers.
The clip that this session focuses on takes place around three-quarters of the way through the story of Lion. Saroo’s determination and drive to find his birth mother and original home has had a detrimental effect on his relationships and Saroo’s adoptive mother is struggling with his brother, Mantosh. The clip sees Saroo sympathise with his adoptive mother that she couldn’t have children and that he and Mantosh have made her life difficult. The scene takes a surprising (and emotional turn) when Saroo discovers that his adoptive mother could have had children but that she chose at a young age to be an adoptive mother.
- Is Saroo ungrateful to his adoptive mother to want to try and find his original family and home?
- How would you describe the character of Saroo’s adoptive mother (played by Nicole Kidman) in this scene?
- In light of this, what does family mean for Saroo and his mother? What does family mean to you?
- The end credits of Lion reveal that more than 80,000 Indian children go missing every year and that 11 million children live on the streets in India. Why would God allow that to happen
Once you’ve had your first set of discussions, hand out the following passages to the smaller groups (one passage for each group):
- Psalm 113:9
- Proverbs 6:20-22
- Proverbs 23:22-25
Once they’ve had time to read and reflect, ask each group to create a two-minute presentation that explores the following questions:
- What is the overall message of your passage
- How does your passage link to the idea of family?
- What sort of passage is it? Is it advice, a command, a metaphor etc?
- Do you agree or disagree with the ideas presented in your passage?
If you’ve got the time, watch the whole of Lion to enjoy the selected clip in context.