Bollywood Dreaming: Kal Ho Naa Ho and the Diasporic Spectator (Critical Essay) - Post Script

Bollywood Dreaming: Kal Ho Naa Ho and the Diasporic Spectator (Critical Essay)

By Post Script

  • Release Date - Published: 2006-06-22
  • Book Genre: Business & Personal Finance
  • Author: Post Script
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Bollywood Dreaming: Kal Ho Naa Ho and the Diasporic Spectator (Critical Essay) Post Script read online review & book description:

Mainstream Indian cinema, affectionately known as Bollywood, is no longer a national cinema, but a transnational one, not only in terms of production but in terms of audience. Throughout its history, Bollywood cinema has accumulated fans of various ethnicities from central Asia to Africa, and in recent years has caught the attention of Western viewers and film scholars. Part of this explosion of popularity is due to new venues and technologies for exhibition, such as film festivals, DVDs, and internet piracy, as well as cultural changes such as the acceptance of Indian fashions in Western societies and the adoption of American and European styles in Indian popular culture. However, perhaps the most important reason for the global proliferation of Indian cinema is that South Asians, especially middle to upper class, high-skilled workers, are immigrating to all continents. Generally speaking, this demographic has no desire to cut off its ties with its original culture and thus Bollywood producers and distributors have actively sought to attract this diasporic audience. Compared to its domestic audience, the diasporic market is relatively small, but because of high ticket prices, the profits from a single admission in the United States or Great Britain can equal that of ten tickets in India, so therefore investors are open to breaking the Bollywood narrative tradition of celebrating Indian citizenship to produce works that uphold traditional Indian values in an international, pan-Indian sense (Dwyer and Pate 1216-217). The question of "Indian" identity as represented in new Bollywood films is thus increasingly transnational in outlook, with the meaning of the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) shifting from the villain who needs to be saved from Western corruption to the new Indian aristocrat. Scholars of Indian cinema have already begun to explore how this new conception of the NRI contributes to shifting understandings of Indian nationhood from the point of view of the dominant strain of Bollywood history.

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