Stellar Evolution

Born a bookworm, I soon started to look through my grandparents' bookcase during the summer holidays. One of my favourites was a book called "Flickan och stjärnan" (The Girl and the Star) by the Swedish author Per Westerlund, published in 1949.

Set in rural India, it's a classical story about the poor but good-hearted young girl who in the end gets married to the rich Swiss maharaja, as predicted by an astrologer. He also said that the girl's fate was connected to a particular star, and when it died so would she. Very romantic, very sad.

From Pilane 2015
In 2009 the novel Q and A was turned into the surprise smash hit movie Slumdog Millionaire also set in India. Some children from the slum were recruited to play rather leading parts in the film, and although they got paid the press commented on the fact that they still lived under poor conditions.

Apparently, they were paid less than the child actors in The Kite Runner, set in Afghanistan. One of these actors, Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada, is now living alone in Sweden, after he and his family had to flee from their home in Kabul because of the controversial rape scene in the film.

In both these cases, the film company and the producers went to great lengths to help the children, but how much can be expected and for how long? And how much responsibility lies with us, the audience?
From Moderna Museet Oct 2014
Filmmakers are always particular with using the “No Animals Were Harmed”® disclaimer.  Perhaps they should also develop some kind of sustainability rating for films? Apparently, BAFTA is on their way at least when it comes to helping filmmakers consider environmental issues setting up the Media Greenhouse and so is Hollywood. However, when will social issues get the same consideration?

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