Slums are strange places for those of us who live in the relatively affluent areas of a city. A disproportionately large number of people live within the limited land space of a slum and these shanty towns are always bustling with activity. What would be unimaginable living conditions for the urbanites, are normalcy for people living inside these slums and out of sheer necessity, these individuals improvise creative solutions to the challenges of survival using whatever tools and materials they could find in their poorly resourced areas.
Film maker Tobias Revell’s new short movie, New Mumbai takes a fictional route to arrive at that point. Revell travels to Dharavi – India’s largest slum – to create a mock documentary of sorts about the creative way the slum’s residents generate power – Magic Mushrooms. Through genetic mutation, industrial espionage and a relentless need to improvise, the story goes, the people of Dharavi have managed to produce electricity from an unlikely organism in nature – a Fungi. Mr. Revell has a sensible back story to it and the movie has a raw, on-the-ground feel. All the featured residents and narrators speak the local language (with English subtitles) and the makers of the film have reached for a high level of realism. The whole movie has a District-9 style to it, except with very low-budget. Check it out below.
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