One film out of every five made anywhere on earth comes from India. From its beginnings under colonial rule through to the heights of Bollywood , Indian Cinema has challenged social injustices such as caste, the oppression of Indian women, religious intolerance, rural poverty, and the pressures of life in the burgeoning cities. And yet, the Indian movie industry makes only about five percent of Hollywood's annual revenue.
In this Very Short Introduction Ashish Rajadhyaksha delves into the political, social, and economic factors which, over time, have shaped Indian Cinema into a fascinating counterculture. Covering everything from silent cinema through to the digital era, Rajadhyaksha examines how the industry reflects the complexity and variety of Indian society through the dramatic changes of the 20th century, and into the beginnings of the 21st.
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Ashish Rajadhyaksha is a film historian and film curator. He is the co-author of the Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema (with Paul Willemen, London: British Film Institute, 1994/1999), and author of several books on the Indian cinema. He has curated major exhibitions and film festivals, You Don't Belong, Film season of 35 Indian films in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kunming and Hong Kong (2011), the exhibition 'Memories of Cinema' at the IVth Guangzhou Triennial (2011) and co-curated (with Geeta Kapur) the exhibition 'Bombay/ Mumbai 1992-2001', a part of the exhibition Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis, Tate Modern (2002). He has held fellowships and been visiting faculty at the University of Chicago, the Lingnan University, Hong Kong, the Korean National University of Arts and the National University of Singapore.