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'Slumdog' vetted for local run

THE biggest winner of the 81st Academy Awards, "Slumdog Millionaire," will debut in Chinese mainland cinemas in late March or early April.

Weng Li, spokesman for the China Film Group Corp said yesterday that the decision was made to import the film because "its artistic value has been proven by the Oscars. Its theme is positive, healthy and inspirational."

"Slumdog Millionaire," a low-budget production depicting a rags-to-riches love story, went into the Oscar ceremony with 10 nominations.

It ended up winning eight honors including best picture, best director and best editing.

But the acclaim both before and after the Oscars has not prevented controversy. One of Asia's top actresses yesterday defended "Slumdog" against criticism that the film glossed over the reality of life in the slums of Mumbai.

Former Bond girl Michelle Yeoh, who worked with "Slumdog" director Danny Boyle on the 2007 sci-fi movie "Sunshine," said the film was a fairy tale and shouldn't be confused with what life is actually like for India's poor. "I've been to Mumbai," Yeoh said at a Hong Kong news conference promoting the Asian Film Awards. "The harsh reality of the place is such that there are certain places where it's horrible."

She said Boyle had to make the film upbeat because the true story of what it is like to live in a slum wouldn't have appealed to audiences.


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