Book on Muslim culture in Hindi cinema released

July 12, 2009

New Delhi, A book on the depiction of Musim culture in Hindi cinema from the 1930s, co-authored by an Indian professor and the head of cinema studies at New York University, was released here Saturday evening.

The “Islamicate Cultures of Bombay Cinema” was written over a period of almost two years by Ira Bhaskar, an associate professor of cinema studies at the School of Arts and Aesthetics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Richard Allen, chair of Cinema Studies at New York University.

“The subject of the book is Islamicate images and its form in Bombay cinema, as these are the representatives of intricate forms of Muslim history in Indian cinema,” Allen told IANS.

The films have been classified into four categories: historicals (now popularly called costume dramas) like “Mughal-e-Azam”, courtesan films like “Umrao Jaan”, socials like “Chaudhvin Ka Chand” and social new wave films like “Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro”.

“There are distinctive and generic traits to these four forms and with the new wave, filmmakers are, in fact, profoundly engaged with these genres in their films,” Allen said.

Added Bhaskar: “What we have done is to bring forth certain topics that have not been touched on till date and overlooked by cinema students and enthusiasts.”

The book deals in detail with 16 films, among them “Pukar” (1939), “Jodhaa Akbar”, “Pakeezah”, “Najma” (1943), “Mere Mehboob” and “Garam Hawa”.

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