SOAS University of London

Bollywood's India: Hindi cinema as a guide to modern India

Professor Rachel Dwyer

Date: 5 February 2008Time: 5:30 PM

Finishes: 5 February 2008Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Inaugural Lecture

Chair: Professor Christopher Pinney, University College, London

Professor Paul Webley, Director and Principal of SOAS, will preside.

In her inaugural lecture, Professor Rachel Dwyer will discuss interpretations of India through Bollywood cinema.

Bollywood is a term which has come to mean a specific kind of Hindi cinema, namely the popular or commercial films that emanate from Mumbai/Bombay. It is both a national and transnational form, a globalised cinema that is one of the few serious rivals to Hollywood. Hindi cinema is pure entertainment, presented in a melodramatic mode, projecting glamorous fantasies, and is justly famed for its song and dance sequences, hence is an unlikely candidate as a reliable guide to modern India. However it is a unique repository of India’s public imaginary, and of how the country sees itself today and in the future. This richly illustrated talk examines Hindi cinema’s view of a modern, ‘new’, India and how it interprets the country’s colonial and postcolonial history.

Organiser: SOAS

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