New Indian Cinema in Post-Independence India: The Cultural Work of Shyam BenegalĘs Films

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-06-06
  • Publisher: Routledge

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This book provides a different understanding of India'¬"s post-independence history through a close analysis of several feature and documentary films of Shyam Benegal, the Indian director and screenwriter whose work is considered central to New Indian cinema. Benegal moved from making advertising films for a commercial firm to feature films, documentary, and state-sponsored television series. The analysis situates Benegal'¬"s films in the debates central to India'¬"s self-definition in its formative years, and in New Indian cinema. Produced during the period of crisis that followed Nehru'¬"s death in 1964 and the declaration of Emergency in 1975 by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Benegal'¬"s films attempt to define a new national identity. They articulate the idea of a return to the possibilities that originated at the time of India'¬"s independence, focusing on equality, justice, and progress. This book highlights the integral importance, apart from their aesthetic merits, of Benegal'¬"s films to the study of India'¬"s post-independence social, political and cultural life. It provides a fuller understanding of Indian cinema, how it is shaped by and itself shapes national imperatives and contributes to the broader field of cinema/film studies. Filling a gap in the literature, the book offers an analysis of cinematic treatment of post-independence narratives and gives important insights into the imagination of the time.

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