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Bangladesh Cinema and National Identity : In Search of the Modern?

ISBN: 9780415465441 | 0415465443
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Routledge
Pub. Date: 12/12/2014

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This book analyses the relationship between cinema and modernity in Bangladesh. It investigates the roles of a non-western #xE2;#xAC;#xDC;national#xE2;#xAC;" film industry in Asia in constructing nationhood and identity within colonial and postcolonial predicaments. The political and economic forces and the cultural institutions that have been active in shaping Bangladesh cinema are presented. The author explores how the conflict among different social groups turned Bangladesh cinema into a site of contesting identities during the twentieth century and beyond. In particular, he illustrates the connections between film production and reception in Bangladesh and a variety of nationalist constructions of Bengali Muslim identity. Drawing on the idea of cinema as public sphere and the postcolonial notion of formation of the #xE2;#xAC;#xDC;Bangladesh#xE2;#xAC;" nation, interactions between cinema and middle-class Bengali Muslims in different social and political matrices are analysed. It is then argued that the development of western-educated Bengali-Muslim middle classes and their search for a distinct cultural identity affected the development of cinema as a cultural institution in postcolonial East Pakistan and Bangladesh. This book, the first major academic study on this large and vibrant national cinema, demonstrates that Bangladesh national cinema worked as different #xE2;#xAC;#xDC;public spheres#xE2;#xAC;" for different #xE2;#xAC;#xDC;publics#xE2;#xAC;" throughout the twentieth century. It fills a gap in Global Film and Media Studies as well as in South Asian Studies.


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