Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Stolen Childhoods

My blog is turning into a review of documentaries/movies I watch. Not the intention but I have to talk about this one I saw a few weeks back. Mostly cause its making me buy Fair Trade Coffee everywhere.
The above titled documentary is about child labour. Its difficult to watch these documentaries. Mostly cause all I did was sit and watch and thats what I have been doing all my life. So what did I do after watching the documentary. I buy Fair Trade coffee, for its supposed to give the farmers a honest price for their coffee.
A small change. May not make a difference. The intention is there, the action will come. I believe so anyway!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Goodbyes and Farewells

Goodbye is a strange word. Its a word I use everyday and there is so little meaning attached to it. I always say goodbye with the expectation of seeing the person again. Maybe not today, not tomorrow but sometime in future. There is never much thought attached to when that "again" will happen.

Its probably better that way. The concept of saying goodbye to someone expecting never to see them again is alien to me. You might tell me that one never gets disappointed that way. But, I can say the same for my current stratergy. What joy can come out of dwelling into the percentages or probablities of meeting again? I believe its always more than 0 and lets leave it at that!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Constant Gardner

The previous post was orignally written months ago. I was reminded of it because of this movie I saw recently called the Constant Gardner starring Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weiss ( I think that is her name! ). It reminded me of Born in Brothels. For starters this movie is not really a documentary, its in fact based on a novel by John Le Carre. Its more than 2 hours long and running in the big cinemas and not art theaters.

And yet I have to tell you the similarities. For starters its shot like a documentary. Something that struck me different was about how they used bright colours when the shot the locales in Africa and the little part shot in England/Europe seemed more greyish. Maybe it was deliberate on the part of the director. Or better still it was just the effect of the storyline ! In any case, no point in digressing, its again based in a third world country. And is in fact about the conspiracy of big corporations which are making use of the poverty/lack of awareness in these countries to fulfill their agenda in the name of social work.

The plot of the movie is set in the background of a love story which runs strong all through the movie. Its probably not everyone's cup of tea and you might argue that its not half as great as I potray it here. But thats far from what I want say.

The movie yet again depicts the poverty stricken side of a third world country but it also brings into light how much power of money / colour/ knowledge is being and can be misused.

I worry about these things more because am a part of this world. I am not poor but I have seen poverty around me. It reminds us to do our part in the society. Fix the little things we can fix!

Most of all I will remember this line from the movie "I cannot help them all, but I can help this one!"

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Born in Brothels :The Documentary

What is it with phlianthropy and controversy? I am writing this in reference with the documentary I saw an hour ago (well this was written a few months ago!). Minutes out of the theater I heard different impressions of the people who saw it. Comments which were cut short of explained implied the need to search the internet. Lo and behold, a whole bag of sour grapes, praises and other points of view are unleashed.
This is piece seems to be more an attempt at being eloquent. Its really an attempt to give vent to anger and frustration of this urge to interpret. I do not know the woman who made the movie, I donot know what happened to the children whose lives she set out to improve. I do not if there were bad repurcursions for the children. I would have hoped the people who made an outcry against the merits of the movie had given me more facts to ponder on. I do not know whether people who cry out that the movie was a third world bashing, an attempt to be noble to win accolades. Of course I feel outraged that it is my country about which this woman is talking. It is the poor and the prostutites there she is talking about. Its the beauracracy there that she is making fun of. But, its nothing I have never been aware of. Why, you probably hear every Indian making fun of the red tape in their homeland, crib about the corruption, the poverty and the lack of sympathy to the poor.
On the other hand, this is all that is being potrayed to the Western World. It is this picture of my country that wins an Academy awards. And like a comment I read on the net, the money need to help them is raised by pictures of their poverty. So of course, the outrage is understandable. What is not clear is what these people who cry against this film really want? Do they want a share of the limelight? Do they wish they had made the movie? I am sure there are hundreds of legal problemswith the movie. And whether the movie not being shown in India is with bad intents or good, I fail to see.
In fact, give me any thoughtline on this movie and I will find some merit in a some part of it to agree with it. Its not a projection of my lack of opinion but the fact that there is only a thin line between good and bad intentions.
All I can say for sure is that it took a brave woman to make that movie. As documentaries go, its well made. Most of all it made me think, rethink what my country is like. Also, as an after thought we that criticize and comment on the movie could never have done anything she did. Good or bad result she tried, something we all fail to do. If this movie makes a few more people try, who knows that academy award will become more than well deserved.