Decoding the Slumdog Millionaire Backlash

As the first two thirds of Slumdog Millionaire make clear, the slum-dwelling beggars of overcrowded Mumbai lead no easy life. But if violence, hunger, and substandard living conditions weren't already enough to contend with, the movie's ten Oscar nominations have them dealing with an additional scourge: pushy journalists who won't stop asking them what they think of Slumdog Millionaire.

Probably spurred by reports of protests and even a lawsuit stemming from purported offense over the movie's title, LA Times New Delhi correspondent Mark Magnier went looking for a Slumdogbacklash. He tracked down a few Indian academics who called the movie "a white man's imagined India" and "a poverty tour" (it should probably be noted that the LA Times accompanies the story with a photo slideshow of an actual Mumbai slum), but despite the damning headline of his piece yesterday ("Indians don't feel good about Slumdog Millionaire"), he couldn't find any real-life slumdogs who felt insulted.

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