Bang Bang Galore!
A Filmmaker’s BLOGELLA
Written by Steve Rosenberg
Blog 1 (Plane Ride)
I am flying half way around the world to make a documentary that is entirely self- funded. The film is about child labour in India. Most local broadcasters listen politely to my pitch, but by the middle of our conversation, I quickly learn that this subject does not suit their current mandate. I am Canadian and damn it, I should be making films about Eskimoes, or should I say Inuits? It doesn’t matter because what intrigues me at the moment are Indian children in peril. How do they cope? In a few days, I will be traveling across southern India with a group of former child labourers who are setting out on a journey to photograph kids in toil. Many people warn that this subject matter maybe too bleak and sad to be entertaining, but I believe there is great beauty in sadness, as long as children find hope.
As I sit here on the plane, I am brimming with excitement because in less than ten hours, my plane will touch down in Bangalore, India. The Korean man sitting in the aisle seat beside me tells me in halting English how much he loves movies. He wears horn- rimmed glasses, wears a black business suit and holds his silver coffee mug in his lap. We’ve been traveling for eight hours and the only reading material to capture his attention is the Singapore Airlines menu. I am astounded that a man who holds a PHD in business shows no interest in the printed word. But he is not atypical.
Most passsengers are wired up to their TV monitors, fully engrossed in Hollywood blockbusters or Asian knockoffs. Casino Royale, featuring a very strapping Daniel Craig is a passenger favourite. I don’t really get James Bond. Essentially, it is a film made over and over about a dashing hero who simply never loses. I am thinking of the children whom I will meet in sweatshops. They are born losers. This may become one of my most expensive home movies yet, which is part of the reason, I want to record my documentary adventures in some form other than film.
When I travel alone, I always experience bouts of loneliness. In past, I have written diaries replete with dark secrets too personal even for me to re-read. Perhaps it is time to go public, but I am not sure how and why. Group emails are so impersonal. Who really wants to read a form letter? I thought about writing missives, but that word leaves me cold. Calling this a blog sounds so much more hip than a group email. I am all about keeping up and so I’ve decided to write a blogella, which is a series of travel blogs on child labour in India. I am on my way to India to meet child labourers and I am ecstatic.