Vie scientifique | Séminaires / Conférences

	De Hollywood à Bollywood: amour, héroïsme et sacrifice

De Hollywood à Bollywood: amour, héroïsme et sacrifice

Savita SINGH & Chandrabhanu PATTANAYAK

16 mai 2018 | 13h - 15h

Salle A-737 | 54 boulevard Raspail 75006 Paris


Dans le cadre de l'atelier thématique L'Amour entre norme et transgression art, histoire, fiction


Prof. Savita Singh

School of Gender and Development Studies, IGNOU

Between Love and death: The Making of Padmavti by Sanjay Leela Bhansali


Malik Muhammad Jaisi wrote Padmavat in 1540. It is a tale of Padmavati, the daughter of Gandharvasen, king of Singhal Rajya and that of Ratan Sen , king of Chittor,  who falls in love with her beauty as described by Hiraman, Padmavati's parrot. Hiraman was among her best friends. Gandharvasen fearing Padmaviti's obsessive attachment with the parrot orders him to be killed. But he escapes and reaches Chittor, where he is bought by Ratan Sen. Allaudin Khilji, was the Sultan of Delhi at that time and he also heard of the beauty of Padmavati through Ratan Sen's dharma Guru, Raghav Chetan,  who too was ousted by the king for his tantric misdeeds harmful to the king.  Khilji attacks Chittor to take away Padmavati and Ratna Singh defends his queen not only from Khilji but from another Rajput king who too wanted to posses Padmavati.  All of this happened in the  14th century India when these characters lived, loved and killed each other. After two hundred years Jaisi makes a Sufi tale of this: mortal life is transient but love is eternal and one has to struggles to attain this. Khilji and Raghav Chetan are the obstacles in the path of love Ratan Sen and Padmavati have  for each other. But there is a sub-text to this story as well. Beauty and death live close to each other and life is interspersed in between. 

Sanjay Leela Bhansali makes a film based on Jaisi's Padmavat, after more than five hundred years. The context has changed entirely and the story has lost its sufi  message. First named 'Padmavati'  it had to be changed to 'Padmavat' to confirm its allegiance to Jaisi's text, but it fails still. It's accused of being regressive, communal and, misogynistic. The film managed to be released only after 300 cuts and five transformations in the text of the film. yet there are sub-texts feminists reading would revel in. This can be its new light. In her death, Padmavati leaves behind not the story of love,  but a life of courage, leadership, and intelligence, generally not considered feminine endowment.


Prof. Chandrabhanu Pattanayak

Director, Institute of Knowledge Societies, CCTE & University of Hawai'i, Manoa - India Program

The Way They Saw Us: India as Stereotype in Colonial Cinema

For years now we have seen that Europe seems to have two dominant ways of approaching the Indian tradition: either as esoteric spirituality or as mythical superstition. The “enlightened Indianist” of the early 20th. Century seems to have some how managed to put the two together and create a genre all to itself which, on the one hand, looked at India through the sympathetic prism of the western eye to give credence to the esoteric spirituality by practicing it themselves and on the other hand, empathizing with the idea of heroic mythical superstition by equating it with their own traditions of adventure and manifest destiny. Thus we have a host of images which trivializes and infantilizes both India’s spirituality and its myths. Let me take just one example to prove a point: The case of the British and Hollywood Cinema.

My paper will examine one film, Gunga Din, made in 1939 by RKO, directed by George Stevensand starring Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen, and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.This film is loosely based on the poem of the same name by Rudyard Kipling combined with elements of his short story collection Soldiers Three. The film is about three British sergeants and Gunga Din, their native bishti (water bearer), who fight the Thuggee, an Indian cult, in colonial British India.

The idea of 'conquering' and 'civilizing' other cultures through the cinema elaborated systems of belief that were not only political but supposedly moral in nature. The subaltern position that emerged as a result of this new kind of film making elided the violence that lay at the core of the colonialist endeavor. Films such as Gunga Din demonstrate how the colonial experience becomes fodder for American dreams of Manifest Destiny through the repositioning of 'real' violence. It is only after the discourses of the East and the West shifted from 'Colonialism' to '(Post)-Colonialism' could the violence of colonialism re-emerge, though only under the guise of the fantastic. 






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