後記: 在看Cup的時候發現了一篇有趣的文章, Philip Dopp的Back Into The Private Realm。節錄如下:
Slumdog is just that – a taxi ride, safe but fancinating, through one of the great cities of the earth.
‘Slumdog’ Oscar success divides India
By James Lamont in New Delhi
Published: February 23 2009 05:18 | Last updated: February 23 2009 17:24
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009
India reacted with mixed feelings as Slumdog Millionaire, an enthralling rags-to-riches tale set in the slums of Mumbai, scooped up eight Academy Awards in Los Angeles, including Best Picture.
Director Danny Boyle and Rubiana Ali, who plays the young Latika, celebrate their triumph in Los Angeles
India’s film industry was bitterly at odds in the run-up to last night’s awards over whether to acknowledge Slumdog Millionaire as an Indian film as excitement grew over its 10 Oscar nominations. The $15m (€12m, £10m) budget film was directed by Danny Boyle, a British film-maker, and featured a cast of largely unknown actors.Where relatives of the child actors celebrated the Oscar win, and jubilation erupted in their home neighbourhoods, its critics have preferred to view the film as foreign, although its content, actors and musical score are Indian.
As the acclaim has grown, controversy about how the film portrays India has deepened. The protagonist, Jamal Malik, grows up in a slum and survives insuperable odds to track down his childhood sweetheart. His mother is killed in a sectarian riot forcing him and his brother to become beggars.
The brother joins a gang, while Jamal finds a job as a lowly chaiwallah (teamaker) in a call centre. By some extraordinary chance, he becomes a contestant on the Who Wants to be a Millionaire? game show.
But even to win the game show, he has to overcome a corrupt system. While on the show, he is a popular hero. Backstage, Jamal is tortured by the police as the show’s managers try to extract a confession that he has cheated.
The backdrop to a redemptive love story is that of a poor, brutal and blighted society. That world, though real to hundreds of millions of Indians, is sharply at odds with how modern India sees itself. Many Indian viewers are highly uncomfortable with the depiction of the slumland, the deliberate maiming of children and police torture.
“There are no mass celebrations in the slum,” says Ganesh, who works for a travel agency in Dharavi, where much of the movie is set. “Most people in Dharavi haven’t even seen the movie.”
The film has been sharply criticised as “poverty porn”. Well-respected local filmmakers have described the film as titillating western audiences with its portrayal of slum life.
Priyadarshan Nair, an India film-maker, complained strongly that the film makes a mockery of India. “It’s nothing but a mediocre Bollywood film, which has used references from several Hindi films very smartly,” he wrote in the newspaper India Today at the weekend.
“India is not Somalia. We are one of the foremost nuclear powers in the world, our satellites are roaming the universe. Our police commissioners’ offices don’t look like shacks and there are no blind children begging in the streets of Mumbai.”
Even some who like the movie are unhappy with its title. “Dog is really offensive for us Indians,” says Krishna Pujari, a former street child who now organises ethical tours of the slum.
Much of the resentment stems from the fact that India’s own booming Bollywood film industry – and the big names of Indian cinema – have not previously been recognised at the Academy Awards. Slumdog Millionaire and its cast, including child actors drawn from the slums, have succeeded where the glitz and the greats have not.
India has, however, found a way to celebrate the film. Critics and cinema-goers alike have praised A.R. Rahman, a well-known Indian musician, for his score, which captured an Oscar.
But some view Slumdog Millionaire’s success in Los Angeles as a geopolitical moment for India, and proof of a warming relationship with the US. Morris Reid, a lobbyist for the entertainment industry who was an adviser to former US president Bill Clinton, says the film’s success would awake a generation to India’s possibilities.
“Because of Slumdog Millionaire, millions of people in Kansas will be saying: ‘I’ve seen that movie and I’m interested in India’,” says Mr Reid.
“A lotus from the swamps” is how a proud father of a child actor in the film describes his son’s achievement. The prime minister, Manmohan Singh, reiterated that sentiment saying: “The winners have done India proud.”
Additional reporting by James Fontanella-Khan in Mumbai