Bollywood's India: Hindi Cinema as a Guide to Contemporary India

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Reaktion Books, Sep 15, 2014 - Performing Arts - 295 pages
Bollywood movies have long been known for their colorful song-and-dance numbers and knack for combining drama, comedy, action-adventure, and music. But these exciting and often amusing films rarely reflect the reality of life on the Indian subcontinent. Exploring the nature of mainstream Hindi cinema, the strikingly illustrated Bollywood’s Indiaexamines its nonrealistic depictions of everyday life in India and what it reveals about Indian society.

Showing how escapism and entertainment function in Bollywood cinema, Rachel Dwyer argues that Hindi cinema’s interpretations of India over the last two decades are a reliable guide to understanding the nation’s changing hopes and dreams. She looks at the ways Bollywood has imagined and portrayed the unity and diversity of the country—what it believes and feels, as well as life at home and in public. Using Dwyer’s two decades spent working with filmmakers and discussing movies with critics and moviegoers,Bollywood’s India is an illuminating look at Hindi cinema.

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About the author (2014)

Rachel Dwyer is professor of Indian cultures and cinema at the SOAS, University of London.

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