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Bollywood's IndiaA Public Fantasy$
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Priya Joshi

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231169615

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231169615.001.0001

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Cinema as Public Fantasy

Cinema as Public Fantasy

(p.19) 2 Cinema as Public Fantasy
Bollywood's India
Priya Joshi
Columbia University Press

This chapter explores the particular public fantasies embedded in Hindi cinema. Public fantasies are tools for managing desire—either to conceal, reveal, revise, or renew them—sometimes, all at the same time. The Hindi film blockbusters in this chapter convey a set of public fantasies that condense into the idea of India. The first of these Hindi film blockbusters comes from Bombay legendary filmmaker, Raj Kapoor. His films, which span the period of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehrus’ administration, address his engagement and disengagement with Nehru’s beautiful dream. Secondly, film director Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay (1975) examines popular cinema’s depiction of crime and justice during the 1970s. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the ways in which Hindi popular cinema exposes public fantasies and revises the notion of “India” across the first quarter century following India’s Independence.

Keywords:   public fantasies, Hindi cinema, Hindi film blockbusters, Raj Kapoor, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Ramesh Sippy, Sholay, crime, justice, India

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