Indian Cinema: Key Issues

Key information

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Module code
FHEQ Level
South Asia Section

Module overview

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The objective is to achieve an analytical overview of the key issues to be addressed in studying Indian cinema. The student will learn to analyse films critically and to read them in the context of writings in film studies, language, literary and cultural studies to see how they can be used productively in the study of Indian cinema.


A total of 10 weeks teaching with 2 hours classroom contact per week (1 hour lecture and 1 hour seminar) and a film viewing (3 hours).

Scope and syllabus

This module looks at central issues in the study of Indian cinema, focusing on the variety of cinemas in India in terms of ‘art’ and ‘commercial’ cinema, of ‘regional’ and ‘national’ cinemas. It pays particular attention to the evolution and nature of different film genres, the role of film music and language and the question of film style. The module introduces key writing on these topics found in a range of disciplines (mostly film studies, language, literary and cultural studies).

Films to be viewed include:

  • Kabhi kabhie
  • Pakeezah
  • Mughal-e-Azam
  • Deewaar
  • Sholay
  • Amar Akbar Anthony
  • Chess-players
  • Umrao Jaan
  • Roja
  • Mr India

Method of assessment

  • An essay of 3000 words to be submitted on Monday of Week 10 (70%) 2nd December 2019;
  • 3 analyses of films of 700 words each, no.1 to be submitted by Friday of Week 2 (10%) 11 October, no. 2 to be submitted by Friday of Week 5 (10%) 1 November, no. 3 to be submitted by Friday of Week 7 (10%) 15 November

Suggested reading

The reading list will be put on moodle before the module begins, along with an outline indicating the weekly readings.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules