Politics and Cinema- A comparison

Politics plays a huge role in the production of films. A few semesters ago I took a class on the role of female actors in Hollywood. We dissected the history of female actors in movies ranging from the beginnings of cinema until now. We saw the transformation of the female role from the simple object of male desire to becoming lead characters in the movies. We also dissected the current issues faced by female actors including wages, roles, and the continued objectification of women. What is interesting is how the politics of the day shaped the narrative in these productions. Even today we see the constant hand of politics meddling in the production of the movies we love so dearly. I want to compare these changes in Hollywood to that of Bollywood and the changing dynamic of movie production due to the change of the political landscape.

Just like the in the American movie scene, the Indian movie scene has drastically scene the role of women change. The transformation of Indian politics and the continued progression of Indian politics toward a western edge has moved the role of women into a more central role. We see in movies like slumdog millionaire the Indian women play the role of the desired object, but at least we see her as a character that is slightly developed into an intelligent and rounded character. The same has to go with Bhumika where a women plays the central role and is developed into a dynamic and interactive character. If our class was to look at much older films and the begging of Bollywood I believe we would see this degradation of the female role just as what happened in Hollywood. This all occurred due to the change in politics in India and the emergence of the independent women. The question that I have is the direction to which Bollywood will move in accordance to the gender politics of India and the continued transformation of India into a more western political ideology.


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