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Anglo-Indians in Hollywood, Bollywood and arthouse cinema
journal contributionposted on 2007-02-01, 00:00 authored by Glenn D'Cruz
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-scegravene 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.