Nationalist Hindi Cinema

  • Valentina Vitali


NATIONALIST HINDI CINEMA: QUESTIONS OF FILM ANALYSIS AND HISTORIOGRAPHY The forty years or so from the beginning of cinema world-wide at the end of the nineteenth century to the consolidation of a domestic film industry in South Asia in the 1930s coincided with the project of nation-building that envisioned a variety of horizons, and with the sedimentation of some of those prospects into the coalition ready to inherit the rule from the British Raj. Cinema played a crucial role in mediating the terms by which India came into being as a modern nation. As Ernest Gellner saw it, it is the homogenizing effect of an economic system such as industrial capitalism, and, within it, the occupational mobility and the division of labour leading to the breaking down of pre-industrial, hierarchical, self-contained social categories, that lead to the "invention" of nationalism. With the advent and spread of capitalism, "culture is...