Author: Jyotika Virdi
Publisher: Permanent Black
ISBN/UPC (if available): 817824098X
India produces more films than any other country in the world, and these works are avidly consumed by non-Western cultures in Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and by the Indian communities in Australia, Britain, the Caribbean Islands, and North America.
Jyotika Virdi focuses on how this dominant medium configures the nation in post-Independence Hindi cinema. She scrutinizes approximately thirty films that have appeared since 1950 and demonstrates how concepts of the nation form the center of this cinema’s moral universe.
As a kind of storytelling, Indian cinema provides a fascinating account of social history and cultural politics, with the family deployed a symbol of the nation. Virdi demonstrates how the portrayal of the nation as a mythical community in Hindi films collapses under the weight of its own contradictions-irreconcilable differences that encompass gender, sexuality, family, class, and religious communities.
Through these film narratives, the author traces transactions among the various constituencies that struggle, accommodate, coexist uneasily, or reconstitute each other over time, and in the process, reveal the topography of postcolonial culture.
This book makes an important contribution to the field of Asian film criticism, Indian film history, cultural studies, and gender studies. The Cinematic ImagiNation provides readers with valuable insights into the relationships between nation-building, gender, sexuality, the family, and popular cinema, using post-Independence India as a case study.
Nation and Its Discontents
The Idealized Woman
Heroes and Villains: Narrating the Nation
Heroines, Romance, and Social History
The Sexed Body