Critiquing Colonialism through Cinematic Frames

Jasbir Jain

in Filming Fiction

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780198075936
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081851 | DOI:
Critiquing Colonialism through Cinematic Frames

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Satyajit Ray filmed Premchand's ‘Shatranj Ke Khiladi’ in 1977, the time of the Emergency in India, and Rabindranath Tagore's Ghare Baire in 1984, a period of nationwide insurgency. The two films problematize the issue of power and its effects on both the wielders and the victims. This chapter presents a critical reading of the frames of history used to cinematically portray the impact of a declining feudal order pitted against the triumphant march of colonial agency ushering in a Janus-faced modernity in Ghare Baire and ‘Shatranj Ke Khiladi’ on terms that were a complete departure from our traditional and cultural moorings. Both films deal with colonialism and envelop within it feudalism as well as gender inequality. Two concerns which also surface in Ghare Baire are ethicality and hospitality.

Keywords: Satyajit Ray; films; Premchand; Shatranj Ke Khiladi; Rabindranath Tagore; Ghare Baire; India; colonialism; feudalism; gender inequality

Chapter.  4681 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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