Wednesday, July 15, 2009

City Of God among other things.

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."


  1. I reproduce, therefore I am

    Sad but so true!!!!

    Movie is not my kind though :)

  2. agree with you. the thought process of "more hands = more workers" is not good as it ignores "less hands = more resources for everyONE"

  3. hey smita
    this is my pettest peeve - i hate the inhumanity of living conditions in mumbai - never get usedto the sight. how can people have the "right" to subject sich "living" on their kids? if you cannot afford to take care of yourself, how can youthen go ahead and have a child?
    thanks for the comment

  4. spike:)
    What a mindset Indians have! there's no depth of indignity in which people would refuse to have children. the so called economic sensibility of Indians is anything but evident in our population. Actually it is an attitude that has scant respect/love for childhood.
    thanks for the comment on this rather bhaari topic:)

  5. its not bhaari... its high time something is done abt it. And recognising it as a problem is the 1st step to making it better. However, its sad that the problem has been recognised in real life, in movies and yet little is done to prevent it from mushrooming into something worse. Apathy of the educated n ruling class for votes at the cost of human lives... its the worst form of low that can be hit! Like a cancer without any immediate solution.

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  7. @babli
    thanks for the compliment. will definitely visit your post.

  8. Its a cultural thing I think, having babies. I read somewhere that couples are being granted Rs. 5000 if they defer having children.

  9. I agree, the living conditions of the poor in India and also in certain parts of South America are regrettable. Many times attempts have been made to clear out the slums and shift a section to a single room accomodation..but these people have rented out the place and continued staying in the slum..the mindset is that of earning money and not living well I guess..cannot react to that sentiment..