Slumdog Millionnaire: romancing the slums

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaper

Abstract

The award-winning successes of Danny Boyle’s rags to riches movie, Slumdog Millionaire (2008), a story that oscillates between the discrepant spaces of the Mumbai slums and the showroom of the ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ quiz, brought an unprecedented level of exposure to urban slum life, and in the eyes of some, imparted a dubious romantic glamour to poverty and degradation. The slum along with the TV showroom, in their diverse intersections (local and global, fundamentalism and metropolitanism; corruption and romance, agency and abjection), figure in the film as sites of multiple oppositions, contradictions and transformations, as metropolitan spaces in which the forces of caste, subalternity, religious fundamentalism and ethnocentrism can be overturned. The paper asks, in light of hostile criticism that the film promotes ‘poverty pornography’, whether its representations of the oppositional slum and media worlds through the global discourses of cinema point to what Bill Ashcroft calls a ‘transformation of modernity’. It seeks to identify a postcolonial, cosmopolitan ethics, whereby this utopian vision of Bollywood and Western cinemas might be (re)aligned with social, political and economic realities
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2013
EventRe-Inventing the Postcolonial (in the) Metropolis: 24th Association for the Study of the New Literatures in English (GNEL/ASNEL) Annual Conference - Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany
Duration: 11 May 2013 → …
http://www.tu-chemnitz.de/phil/english/chairs/englit/gnel2013/

Conference

ConferenceRe-Inventing the Postcolonial (in the) Metropolis: 24th Association for the Study of the New Literatures in English (GNEL/ASNEL) Annual Conference
Period11/05/13 → …
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Keywords

  • Slumdog Millionnaire
  • Danny Boyle
  • cosmopolitanism
  • subaltern subject
  • Mumbai
  • slums

Cite this

Wilson, J. M. (2013). Slumdog Millionnaire: romancing the slums. Paper presented at Re-Inventing the Postcolonial (in the) Metropolis: 24th Association for the Study of the New Literatures in English (GNEL/ASNEL) Annual Conference, .