City of Joy was a great movie in making me aware of the world’s needs. There were a lot of disturbing elements for younger children, but viewers from the United States or other first world countries will be prompted to count their blessings. Three lives become intertwined in the City of Joy, a very poor area of Calcutta, India. Joan Bethel also known as “Pauline Collins” runs a free clinic there.
Max Lowe also known as “Patrick Swayze” a disillusioned American Surgeon who is set up, robbed and beaten by some local “godfathers” while on vacation, is treated at her clinic. Hasari Pal also known as “Om Puri”, who has brought his family to Calcutta in a desperate search for work after his farm was repossessed during a drought, helps bring Lowe to the clinic. From there, the film’s theme is the conflict between those trying to make a difference and those who want everything to stay the same.
One of the godfathers makes a sanctimonious speech about how people who have either everything or nothing are content, but people who have a little wealth or are discontented they thrive for more; therefore, since there’s not enough wealth in India for everyone to have more than a little, his role in keeping the masses on a bare-subsistence existence is a socially noble one. That statement is joke, although there’s a grain of truth inside it.
Lowe, on hearing that speech, has to decide whether he agrees with Nurse Bethel or with the godfather; that is, whether he’ll support the clinic or will dismiss it as a futile effort to “drill a hole in water,” as he had earlier called it. You’ll want to see his decision, and the results that it brings. By the way, the disease we call leprosy today (otherwise known as Hansen’s disease) is one of the least contagious of all contagious diseases. But because it is known as leprosy, people with Hansen’s are shunned and banished (as shown in this film) without cause. Thank God for those who aren’t afraid to get involved.
This film was an eye opener due towards the horrific things people said to Max Lowe also known as “Patrick Swayze” he was in India to find his way and ended up helping patients by practicing medicine and helping patients in need. He soon finds to realize that India and India’s people are stuck in there own ways on how to treat certain causes and diseases. As of any country he is shunned to most locals there in India. And is pushed to the bottom of the caste system. He than finds it hard to cope knowing very little in a foreign country but he soon finds his inner self through being in India and he than learns how to cope there I’d like to say.