3street-children-billboardWell I did it, I finally watched Slumdog Millionaire. It took a while to get down here, but it finally made it. On a side note, DVD’s are frequently available before the movie is even in the theater. This past week, Christina and I took our date night, and watched it. Probably would not be a typical date night movie selection, but given its emphasis at the Oscar’s we made it a priority. People have been for months encouraging me to watch the movie and I am glad I did. I was reminded of my trip to India in November of 2005 to visit friends and learn about ministry to street-living and working children in that country. I was powerfully impacted by the desperate needs I witnessed during my trip there. The issue of street children as protagonists in Hollywood and society is really nothing new. Children are the protagonists whether we like it or not. Frequently people have sought to squash child protagonism as has been highly portrayed in Slumdog Millionaire and others (check out Salam Bombay). What do I mean by child protagonism, or “protagonismo infantil” as it is known in Spanish? I and others recognize this kind of protagonism as the place children have as central actors in their own development. As social actors, they are empowered to participate in the transformation of their own lives and that of society. In other words, children are on the screen of life, transforming society simply by just living. As someone who is concerned with Church engagement with children at risk, I believe children, such as those who live and work on the street, should be encouraged to take a central role in helping us understand God and his love for creation. As protagonists, we must invite children into our lives, our churches, our organizations to help us see the world from their perspective then we will be in a better place to bring about hope to their lives. As Jesus reminded us in Mark 10, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” There is a lot we don’t know about God and his workings, perhaps it is time we allow the kids to speak, not only in Hollywood, but in our churches. Let’s follow the example of Christ, who “took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.”

One thought on “Slumdog Millionaire, Street Children & Hollywood

  1. Amen, Amen and Amen to your post! I rushed out to see the film after various suggestions and its coverage at the Oscars also. Very recommened viewing!

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