Anglo-Indians in Hollywood, Bollywood and Arthouse Cinema

Anglo-Indians in Hollywood, Bollywood and Arthouse Cinema

Journal of Intercultural Studies
Volume 28, Issue 1
(February 2007)
pages 55-68
DOI: 10.1080/07256860601082939

Glenn D’Cruz, Senior Lecturer of Performance Studies
Deakin University, Australia

Apart from a few disparaging remarks about offensive stereotypes by Anglo-Indian writers and politicians such as Gloria Jean Moore, Frank Anthony and Gillian Hart, critics have paid very little attention to the representation of “mixed-race” Anglo-Indians in the cinema. Drawing on screen theory and recent theories of cinema spectatorship, this essay provides a comparative analysis of how Hollywood, Bollywood and arthouse films represent Anglo-Indians. More specifically, it analyses three paradigmatic films: Bhowani Junction (1956), Julie (1975), and 36 Chowringhee Lane (1981). Combining formal analysis of narrative structure, mise-en-scne and genre with historical analysis, the paper examines the ideological work performed by these texts, which use Anglo-Indians to dramatise specific political conflicts in India such as those generated by the British partition of India in 1947 and the more recent issue of globalisation.

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