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Monday, February 16, 2009

Controversy over salaries of young stars of Slumdog Millionaire

the young stars' parents say that the children, Azharuddin Ismail and Rubina Ali, and their families havent benefited from the success of the movie... ABC reported recently that the kids themselves still live in the same slums that the movie portrays.... Ismail "sleeps under a plastic sheet" and his father is in very poor health- being treated for tuberculosis... Director Danny Boyle claims that they decided not to "remove them from the slum" for moral reasons.. but states that a large sum was placed in a trust fund for each of them.. which they will have access to when they reach 18 so as to give them motivation to stay in school - he also says that he refuses to publicly state the actual amount the young actors have been paid (via the trust fund) because it would make them vulnerable

part of what made this film so powerful was it's portayal of the horrible reality that so many kids live with every day in the slums... but many people claim that the film is voyeuristic and exploits the poverty that is a reality to so many in india... others claim that it is a misrepresentation of india altogether...

wikipedia's entry summarizes all of this pretty well.. including the whole controversy about amitabh's blog entry about the film...

read the abc news article here (download the interview with Danny Boyle there too)

I loved this movie so much... but its hard to ignore the fact that the veil between the story on the screen and the reality of slum-life and the tragedy of child explotation in this world is very thin.... hopefully, these young actors will have a bright future no matter what anyone says.. they were the real stars of the movie in my opinion...


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