Lecture 6. Bombay/Mumbai in Cinema (Part 2)

created by:

Vandana Baweja


from the module:

Global Cities in Cinema

Part 2 of the lecture presents how the film Slumdog Millionaire represents the most recent phase of Bombay's globalization and its name change to Mumbai. Slumdog Millionaire is the life story of the Muslim protagonist Jamal who is a contestant on the TV show “Kaun Banega Crorepati,” [“Who wants to be a Millionaire”] in Mumbai. Jamal’s life and the story of the transition from Bombay to Mumbai are narrated in the film through a series of questions on the quiz show. The film begins with the Muslim protagonist Jamal’s childhood in the slums in Bombay. Jamal and his brother Salim loose their mother and their slum home in a riot. This riot was one in a series of riots, which were meant to cleanse Bombay of its Muslim population, who are seen as outsiders. Evacuated from the slum, they leave the city of Bombay to go to Agra and then come back to Bombay in search of Jamal’s Hindu friend Latika. When Jamal and Salim return to Bombay, it was no longer “Bombay” but had changed to “Mumbai.” Jamal’s story is closely tied to the urban history of the transition of Bombay into Mumbai. The transition of Bombay into Mumbai is marked by two significant changes: one, the rise of right wing Hindu forces and two, the transition of Bombay from a post-industrial city to a global service provider.


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