No Longer a Frivolous Singing and Dancing Nation of Movie-Makers: The Hindi Film Industry and Its Quest for Global Distinction

Tejaswini Ganti

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    This article discusses the unexpected trajectories of media production under the conditions of neoliberalism in India. Focusing on the Hindi-language film industry (better known as "Bollywood"), the article describes how the rise of neoliberal economic ideals in state policy has produced conditions within the film industry that make it possible for concerns about prestige, symbolic capital, and global distinction to take precedence over ideologies of comparative advantage and branding that are more commonly associated with neoliberalism. It illustrates how Hindi filmmakers regard their cinema's cultural distinctiveness as alienating and limiting rather than as an asset within the larger global cultural economy. The article argues that the contemporary moment of Hindi filmmaking is marked by efforts to erase, rather than highlight, the signs of cultural difference in order to circulate and accrue distinction globally. However, the article relates the challenges faced by Hindi filmmakers in trying to fashion a "global" and culturally unmarked cinema.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)340-365
    Number of pages26
    JournalVisual Anthropology
    Volume25
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 2012

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cultural Studies
    • Anthropology

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