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The Secret Politics of Our Desires: Innocence, Culpability and Indian Popular Cinema

Ashis Nandy (Editor)
Synopsis Now available in paper back edition, this collection of essays aims to create a sharper awareness of popular Indian films as a possible source for an alternative, non-formal frame of political and social analysis. The emphasis is not on film theory or the aesthetics of popular cinema, but on the larger politics of culture as it is epitomized in popular films. It self-consciously disengages itself from conventional film theory and regular models of cultural studies to rethink cinema as a form of shared tacit political knowledge.  For Ashish Nandy, the metaphor for Indian popular cinema is the urban slum; he argues that popular cinema is the slum's point of view of Indian politics and society. Ziauddin Sardar's and Rajni Bakshi's essays are highly personalized narratives that they to capture the crises of Indian public life as reflected in the generational and stylistic changes in popular cinema.  The other essays focus on what films say about the means available for ordinary citizens to intervene in Indian politics and urban life: the way the receiver of audio-visual messages creatively reshapes them for his or her own purposes the distinctive relationship of Tamil films with politics; and the absence in Indian cinema of any genuine outsider, either in the form of an alienated hero or a villain. This book is essential reading for social scientists and all those interested in the series study of films.
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About the author

Ashis Nandy

Ashis Nandy is senior fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi. He has written over fifteen books, including The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self under Colonialism (Oxford, 1983), Traditions, Tyranny, and Utopias: Essays in the Politics of Awareness (Oxford, 1987) and an ambiguous Journey to the City: The Village and Other Odd Ruins of the Self in the Indian Imagination (Oxford, 2001).

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Bibliographic information

Title The Secret Politics of Our Desires: Innocence, Culpability and Indian Popular Cinema
Author Ashis Nandy
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1998
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195639367
length xii+259p., 22cm.