Thursday, November 5, 2009

Danny Boyle "Tired" of Slum Kids

Danny Boyle, the Director of Slumdog Millionaire the Oscar winning dump on India, is reported to be "tired" of dealing with the financial "demands" of the families of the two slum kids whose acting made his movie a hit.

Boyle paid the kids a pittance for their heavyweight roles purely because they lived in a slum. He was shamed by pre-Oscar publicity into announcing that he intended to set up a Trust for their education.

Action on the Trust was slow and it took months of complaints by the kids (who continued to live in the Mumbai slum in which the casting people found them), to get any action. Finally about a year after the movie raked in its multi-millions they were moved to cheap apartments appropriate for the poor.

The kids were also admitted to school, and "over 70 per cent attendance" was made a condition for them to continue receiving the $110 monthly stipend the Trust agreed to pay each. Evidently that condition has not been met, and now there is a publicized threat to stop making the payments.

The kids have also been promised a lump sum when they complete school, but no one knows how much. The amount in the Trust is also a secret. Why exactly no one has bothered to explain.

Meanwhile, the boy has lost his father to tuberculosis, and the girl has been embarrassed by a British reporter's stupid sting operation: he rang up her father posing as a rich Arab Sheikh who wanted to adopt her. The father was reported to have agreed to "sell" her to the Sheikh. It later turned out the reporter had spoken to someone other than the father.

If anyone has a right to be "tired" of the way things have gone it's the kids.

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