Cinema, Transnationalism, and Colonial India: Entertaining the Raj

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-03-27
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Through the lens of cinema, this book studies the ways in which the United States, Britain, and India impacted each other politically, culturally, and ideologically. The author argues that American films of the 1920s which generated appeal and controversy across national and social divisions and dominated over 90% of the film industry posited an alternative notion of whiteness and the West that stood for democracy and social mobility. It clashed with the traditionalism and hierarchy of empire and undermined the notion of an Indian identity at odds with foreign technologies and entertainment. Examining the impact that the American cinema had on Indian filmmakers of the 1910s and 20s, the book argues that Indian filmmakers integrated conventions of American and European filmmaking with Indian theatrical and artistic traditions to articulate an Indian modernity. The book presents a close readings of films, literature, and art from the era. It is based on film studies criticism on reception, postcolonial studies criticism on representation, globalization, and identity and archival materials and includes an analysis of the impact of the United States on the British empire. Engaging cinema studies with theories of post-colonialism and transnationalism, this book presents a novel approach to the study of Indian cinema.

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