Yes, Slumdog, a Film Well-named

I have to admit I wasn’t too impressed by this year’s Oscar winner for best picture. 

Though the director’s craftsmanship was evident and admirable, Slumdog Millionaire came across to me as a work which was contrived for appeal to an American audience.  The Taj Mahal, call centers, beggars, filth everywhere, when the average American thinks of India these are the images which come to mind — and the movie was rife with them; what’s more, superimposed upon all these stereotypes, we find an American-style game show! 

India is an ancient country with a rich cultural fabric, and we would do well to learn more about it.  Surely it is more than urban squalor with an overlay of “Coca-Cola colonialism” as portrayed in this film.

But don’t take my word for it.   For more reviews, which are mostly very positive, take a look at Slumdog’s Yahoo Movies page.

If you’d like to learn more about India, Greensboro Public Library may have some books for you.  Try some of these recent titles:  Imagining India:  The Idea of a Nation Renewed by Nandan Nilekani (on order); In Spite of the Gods:  The Strange Rise of Modern India by Edward Luce; India by Nicki Grihault; The Argumentative Indian:  Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity by Amartya Sen; Sacred Waters:  A Pilgrimage up the Ganges River to the Source of Hindu Culture by Stephen Alter; The Light Within:  A Travel Log of India by Joseph L Anderson; and The Elephant, the Tiger, and the Cell Phone:  Reflections on India, the Emerging 21st-century Power by Shashi Tharoor.

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