Tonight I finally went to see the Academy Award all-star Slumdog Millionaire. I wanted to love it, and did. I also wanted to believe that it would inspire many more people around the world to care about the poorest of the poor in India, like Jamal in the movie; but I am not convinced of that. It was mostly a love story, not a call for economic justice.
One part that I thought was especially powerful and insightful was when Jamal was leading two Americans down toward a river to see where women washed their clothes. While they were gone, other children stripped their car of everything. When Jamal brought the couple back, the driver blamed Jamal for the theft and started beating him up. Jamal exclaimed that he "just wanted to give them a taste of the real India." The couple stopped the driver and the woman said, "and here's a taste of the real America" and gave him $100. At first it was sad for me to think that to her America was money, then I looked at it at a deeper level.