Monday, December 29, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire

Last night I had the opportunity to watch Slumdog Millionaire, no doubt one of the best films of the year. I was surprised to be confronted with human trafficking as a major theme. It’s funny because, depending on the city you live, the film has been out for nearly two months and usually I receive a slew of emails about ‘this new trafficking film’ or ‘that show about modern-day slavery’. Not once have I been told, “go see Slumdog Millionaire because touches on human trafficking.” Not once.

I truly enjoyed Slumdog. Slumdog didn’t try to package itself as a movie “about human trafficking”. It certainly was. But it didn’t need to make the statement bluntly and it shouldn’t have. It’s our job to learn and understand the context and story for what it is: a story about human trafficking.

Slumdog isn’t perfect, no film about trafficking (or any subject) is. But it comes close. It deftly paints a stinging reality in our world, the trafficking of children for the purpose of exploitation through begging, forced sex and more.

Our job as backyard abolitionists -you and me- is to give name and meaning (visceral understanding) to the crime and work to end it in our neighborhoods and around the world.

-Mark Wexler


just some girl said...

This is one of most poorly written movie reviews I have ever seen. In four paragraphs of abhorrent syntax all you managed to convey is that the movie presents the issue of human trafficking. Could you have at least explored HOW human trafficking is presented in the movie? You claim that it was one of the best films of the year, yet fail to say anything remotely specific about the movie... except that it "isn't not perfect, no films about trafficking (or any subject) is". I hope upon rereading your own writing you realize how senseless it comes off.

I don't mean to be harsh, but I think it's phenomenal that modern-day slavery is being exposed in our cinemas and am disappointed you wasted a great opportunity to convince abolitionists and their friends to watch the movie, opting instead to spew out an entry that obviously took you two minutes or less. Lazy.

Paul Newnham said...

I have not seen Slumdog Millionare yet but did watch on DVD Taken last night. It is an action movie in the tradition of Bourne Identity yet it is focused on trafficking. Why I found it so compelling is it was about a girl from California being traffickied while on holiday in Paris. It connected this issue to something we all do taking it from something happening out there to something happening and that wecan be in touch with or affected by more easily than we think. This reminds me of the effectiveness of Davids story of the Indian Reastarant in his home town and how this started his abolisionist story. It is a action flick at the heart and quite violent at that but brings an issue into peoples faces which is so important.