Distributor:  Bullfrog Films
Length:  23 minutes
Date:  2005
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 7-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
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Slum Futures

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The slums of Mumbai are an important microcosm of how slums are developing around the world.

Life 4 - Slum Futures

Bombay -- now known as Mumbai -- is the home of Bollywood movies and India's city of gold, its financial capital. But behind the glitz and glamor lurks a different reality -- a city landscape dominated by massive, sprawling slums, which rank among the biggest in the world. According to Mumbai's city housing authority, eight out of the twelve million people in Mumbai live in the slums. Mumbai's slum dwellers are, however, a vibrant and proud community, and the city is also an important microcosm of how slums are developing around the world. Globally one in six people live in slums. At the current rate of growth, UN-Habitat predicts that by 2030, one in every three people in the world could be living in a slum.

'Convey[s] not only many startling images of the urban slum but make[s] intelligent and surprising comments about slum society and the wider society of which it is -- not an aberrant but a crucial, dare we say 'functional' -- part. Students and the general public need to realize that, while slums are a 'problem,' and far from an ideal living condition, they are not mere urban anomie. Anthropologists know this and have made significant contributions to documenting urban slum life (not only in the non-Western world but also in the West and even in the U.S.) and its relation to development, labor migration, and urbanization. Slum Futures offers a valuable opportunity for anthropologists to present and discuss the construction of slum social order as a response to crucial and globally-linked changes in the economies and lives of real people. Level/Use: Suitable for high school and college courses in cultural anthropology, anthropology of India, development anthropology, and urban anthropology, as well as for public audiences.' David Eller, Metropolitan State College, Anthropology Review Database

'The importance of these films is that they are intended to raise awareness about global issues in young people, and can be used by anyone for this purpose. The quality of the films is excellent. They are documentaries about the U.N. Millennium Development Goals and include brief interviews with people who are actually involved in MDG programs, from various institutions and from the grassroots to executive level...The objective evidence about the current global crisis of insecurity, poverty, gender inequalities, environmental degradation, and lack of international cooperation is presented in a way that is both realistic and non-inflammatory.

Children are the future. Educational materials such as the Bullfrog Films are very important for the future of both humanity and the human habitat...The Bullfrog Films certainly can and should be shown to children, especially to high school students. But these films are most appropriate for those who prepare the children for responsible citizenship, including global citizenship. They are certainly appropriate for parents who want their children to know about the need for human solidarity and environmental sustainability. And, they are most appropriate for training teachers to plant the seed of global concerns in their students' minds and hearts.' Luis Gutierrez, Editor, Solidarity, Sustainability, and Non-Violence Research Newsletter


'Stories from the Field' United Nations Documentary Film Festival
Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting


Main credits

Mackenzie, Alastair (narrator)
Gabbay, Alex (film director)
Gabbay, Alex (screenwriter)
Shrestha, Subina (film director)
Shrestha, Subina (screenwriter)
Kelly, Brenda (film producer)
Bower, Dick (film producer)
Richards, Jenny (consultant)
Kyriacou, Sotira (editor of moving image work)

Other credits

Executive producer, Brenda Kelly; series producer, Dick Bower; series consultant, Jenny Richards; editor, Sotira Kyriacou.

Distributor credits

Brenda Kelly

Alex Gabbay and Subina Shrestha

Brenda Kelly
Alex Gabbay and Subina Shrestha
Series Producer: Dick Bower
Series Consultant: Jenny Richards

Docuseek2 subjects

Urban Studies
Urban Ecosystems
Human Geography
Cultural Anthropology

Distributor subjects

Asian Studies
Developing World
Global Issues
Human Rights
Millennium Development Goals
Social Justice
United Nations
Urban Studies
Urban and Regional Planning


slums, India, Mumbai, Bombay, poverty, UN, United Nations, UN Habitat, Southeast Asia, Asian Studies, population growth, urbanization, sustainable development; "Slum Futures"; Bullfrog Films

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