A Landmark in recent Indian cinema, by acclaimed director Mani
Ratnam. In January 1993 sectarian rioting left 2,000 Hindus and
Muslims dead in Bombay. Only two years later Mani Ratnam's
audacious Tamil film Bombay (1995) used these events as a backdrop
to a love story between a Hindu boy and a Muslim girl. Bombay was
condemned by Muslim critics for misrepresentation and it was
embroiled in censorship controversies. These served only to
heighten interest and the film ran to packed houses in India and
abroad. Lalitha Gopolan shows how Bombay struggles to find a
narrative that can reconcile communal differences. She looks in
detail at the way official censors tried to change the film under
the influence of powerful figures in both the Muslim and the Hindu
communities. In going on to analyse the aesthetics of Bombay, she
shows how themes of social and gender difference are rendered
through performance, choreography, song and cinematography. This is
a fascinating account of a landmark in recent Indian cinema.
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