New trends in transnational cinematographic productions seem to rework past conventions so that new, hybrid outcomes are created. As a consequence, transnational films may put into question former boundaries in terms of cinematic genres and, more importantly, in terms of cultural confrontations
grounded on prejudice and uneven power relations. Critics such as Stuart Hall, Homi Bhabha and Amartya Sen, among others, argue that when people are confronted with something new and unknown – namely, “the other” – more often than not, prejudices appear. Having as its main plot the meeting of Eastern and Western characters in Amritsar, London and Los Angeles, Gurinder Chadha’s
2004 film Bride and Prejudice questions how to overcome cultural prejudices in a globalised world. Presenting an interethnic romance, Chadha’s film turns Austen’s classic into a metaphor of the reemergence of past prejudices in contemporary encounters of Eastern and Western cultures. Moreover,
more preponderance is given to female characters in the film in a way that subverts traditional stereotypes and prejudices on South Asian women. The happy ending may therefore represent the wish to overcome such prejudices and favor cultural interchange both in the transnational screen and in the globalised world of spectators. Basing this study on Rick Altman’s view of the cinematic genre formation closely linked with the evolution of the nation, I intend to demonstrate how Bride and Prejudice epitomizes the miscellaneous spirit of South Asian transnational cinema. Furthermore, my main aim is to explore how this new way of filmmaking opens up new possibilities for positive and relevant representations of formerly marginalized and subjugated South Asian female characters in mainstream Eastern and Western cinematographic traditions.
|Keywords:||Transnational Cinema, South Asian Diasporic Cinema, Gender and Race Cinematic Representations, Interethnic Relationships|
Lecturer, Department of English Philology, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
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