The makers of Slumdog Millionaire have set up a fund of almost $1 million to support child poverty programs in Mumbai, India. Those behind the Oscar-winning film, which made more than $400 million worldwide, have been accused of exploiting the people who live in Mumbai's slums for their own gain.
While the child actors from the movie got to travel to Hollywood for the Oscars, neighbors cheered them on in their hometown slums. Those images revealed overwhelming joy, but also the poverty that would await the adorable stars when the magic was over.
Aware of this heartbreaking reality, the filmmakers set up private trust funds and bought new homes for Rubina Ali and Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, the two child actors who lived in the slums.
But two happy endings weren't enough for those who considered the film poverty porn, or a film that exploits the misery of millions for the enjoyment of a privileged audience. To see what some Mumbai residents thought about all this,
Residents of the slums were among those who considered the film exploitative. Many poor Indians protested outside actors' homes, calling the movie and the term "slumdog" offensive.
The new fund may silence critics, but it could also be considered unsubstantial compared to the overall profits reaped by the film. Then again, do these filmmakers have any obligation to address the problem of poverty in India?