Saw the internationally acclaimed Brazillian film, Cidadede Deus - City of God on DVD last night. Had the film with me for ages but never got down to seeing it because I was afraid I would get all gloomy about it. Thankfully nothing of the sort happened. The movie, which is "based on a real life story" is gripping from the word go. Starting from the end and then taking us back to introduce the various people that come together, the movie does a "pulp fiction" with finesse. Rio de Janeiro,the city that immediately brings to mind an aerial shot of Jesus with his arms outstretched,over the city, is shown only in its ugly side in this film. The director's camera however, does not allow you time to brood. Quick pans that have the handycam effect are means to a gripping narrative so that you refuse to blink. Billiant film.
While watching the film I couldn't help comparing the miserable conditions of living (of the characters shown in the film) with that of slum-dwellers in Mumbai. While the violence must exarcebate the misery of poverty, at least the Brazillians have shelter, AND water AND sewage. They even have a proper road in the midlle of their houses. Their living quarters are actually organised into neat rows. Exactly where does one begin to feel sorry for Indians on this count? The places where people - hard-working, self-respecting people(like our domestic help)- live, do not even have water connections. A toilet in the house would be considered a luxury. Families of 6to 10people squeeze themselves to sleep in bed-sized areas. And, inexplicably, kids happen. Actually kids are swarming all over the place. Obviously a "standard of living" is simply not a consideration. The Indian mindset seems hell-bent on proving - "I reproduce, therefore I am."