I think Slumdog was an excellent film and I completely understand several arguments given in the NPR show and the articles. I have lived in South America before, and although I didn’t live in a slum, I definitely had my share of interactions with people who did on a daily basis, as well as seeing and reading about the direct effects and issues within, like slum children being kidnapped and sold to US orphanages and a rainy day for me being the wipeout of an entire neighborhood by mudslides. My perspective isn’t going to be the same as Divakaruni called the average “Pepsi-sipping, popcorn-munching, affluent Western audience”. I appreciated the opportunity of exposure so greatly that I made it a point to try to understand the whys,hows and who’s of the situation and I intend to move back when I finish school. I grew up very poor in small towns, foster homes, group homes and on my own at 15. I went to south America with $600 in my pocket and my dog, I spent the $600 in the first week to get a place to live (and no I didn’t have parents to call for money). Before I go into some long story, Ill divert back. Living in another country where essentially my net worth was as much or less as some of its poorest inhabitants was humbling and gave me a greater appreciation for life, friends, family and things that really matter, and I will honestly say in my opinion that one will never understand that fully without experiencing it. Any residual effects of growing up in a very capitalist society mostly drained from my system into the gutters of Argentina, and gladly (vivid?).
I do not agree with the voyeuristic “poverty porn” concept at all, and although I know the prospect of actually walking among and hanging out with people some may consider very different than themselves may be scary to some, I think its important to keep the human element and not peek through tinted glass windows with pity or superiority.
I definitely agree with Priya Rajsekar on her perspective of exploitation for several reasons, but maybe not in the same respects. Mainly I think that some “Pepsi-sipping, popcorn-munching, affluent Western audience” who have little to no idea what poverty is, tend to forget that people in slums are people, not characters on a screen or in a photo in the news. And that sounds extreme but to take away dignity from a person in life or in film is basically to lower them to that of a dog, and like Rajsekar said