A Hindi-language film combines song and dance with social issues.
It’s more in the “just for fun” category than in bioethics: a Bollywood film about surrogacy. Western films tend to be sober and problematic even though they are garnished with a bit of ironic humor. Mimi manages to turn international commercial surrogacy into a musical that still addresses some of the fundamental ethical issues involved when a woman rents her belly for money.
The plot is simple. An American couple visiting Rajasthan is struck by the beauty of Mimi, a local dancer (very important for the following routines with acres of dancers) and approached via a mischievous taxi driver. He convinces her to sign a contract. Her parents are horrified when they find out and Mimi is devastated when an ultrasound shows the child has Down syndrome. The couple orders her to abort the child (not a good idea of American family values) but she refuses and decides to bring up the child on her own.
The child is born healthy and the American couple offers to adopt him, but Mimi refuses. Americans find another child to adopt and everyone lives happily ever after.
The film has been criticized for taking a stand against abortion. “Mimi … Is an attempt to roll back decades of Indian society by denouncing a woman’s right to choose an abortion enshrined in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act 1971, ”Anna Vetticad wrote in First post. “Contrary to the false impression created by the English Indian news media that only conservative Muslims and Christians are anti-choice, the truth is that clerics of all communities take this position.”
Michel cook is editor of BioEdge