Scene One: Rubina Ali, 9, the child star of Slumdog Millionaire, is treated to food and gifts at a five-star hotel in Mumbai, and comes home blissfully unaware of the sting her hosts have conducted on her father.
Scene Two: As the sting surfaces on every TV channel and newspaper across India, her biological mother and stepmother exchange blows over the revelations, with Rubina watching, aghast.
Scene Three: Rubina is wedged between a burly cop and her dad, in an autorickshaw, and taken to a police station, for questioning. She returns to a queue of cameras lined up for reactions.
***The debate over whether Slumdog Millionaire was poverty porn is obsolete. It hardly matters any more whether Danny Boyle’s film was sensitive or exploitative in its treatment of life in Mumbai’s slums, whether the kid-covered-in-shit scene was gratuitous or zanily inventive. The film is now indelibly tainted—covered in shit if you like—by its...