The course examines the contemporary global art form known as 'Indian cinemas' from its advent of the moving picture in the late 1800's to the present. In this Asian film course, we explore the various cinemas of India and the Indian diaspora such as Bollywood cinema, art cinema, films by Indian directors inside and outside India, music videos, and documentaries. Factors behind its ascent to the most popular art form as well as a lucrative medium of entertainment and potent vehicle for social change not only in India but also beyond its shores are examined in some depth. We discover how these various Indian cinemas address and depict the social mores, cultural practices and political issues of the South Asian subcontinent. Themes for our discussions include but are not limited to nationalism, sexuality, censorship, activism, tradition, modernity, identity, gender roles, and the pleasures and politics of song, dance and music, as we look at historical, thematic and aesthetic issues of these cinemas and their impact and influence in India as well as globally.


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