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Post-colonial Analysis of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

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Sahil Singh

on 11 September 2013

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Transcript of Post-colonial Analysis of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Subject 1
Subject 3
Subject 3
Post colonial analysis
Ominousness of the Title
The Movie
The ominousness of the title
About the movie
Yellow man beating a huge gong.
Connection
- impending doom, the brown man
and the menacing background music.
Harbinger of impending evils
to be encountered.

About the Movie
American
fantasy-adventure
film -
1984

Crash landing - deserted village of India
Retrieve a sacred stone - brings them good fortune
Thuggee cult
Kidnapping of the children
General Themes
Why this movie?
problems of racist, orientalist imagery, reinforcing colonial notions of the “orient”

all aesthetic decisions and manifestations are intrinsically linked to ethical ramifications

Misrepresentation of India -
Depiction of Goddess Kali
Depiction of Indian cuisine

Contribution to racist stereotypes
Occident/Orient
Land of India
White man’s burden

Fantasies of the Western mind
Superior West/ Inferior East
Thuggee Cult of the Pankot Palace
Occident
(Superior)
Orient
(Inferior)
White Man's Burden
Land of India
Audio-Visual Elements
Dialogues
Music, Song and Dance
Tone of
mystery
, and use of
oriental music
White man’s intervention
Anachronism:
the appalling generalization
Western Appropriation
Tangle of Dance
Sets, Lighting and Costumes
Old man
- white hair and robe.
First clipping of
IN
D
IA
- barren land, on fire, deserted, dry trees and grass,
Language
presented as uncomprehensive
Landscape

-
Ch
in
a
and India
Name of the maharaja -
Zaalim
Character Analysis
Dr. Indiana Jones
White man saviour
Proto-typical occident as the knight in shining armour
Stands for great adventurous spirit of the coloniser
Coloniser in all its positive senses
Devoid of the materialistic greed
Food
- snakes, eyeballs and bugs - main course. monkey brains served in heads for dessert
Hidden doors and passages -
mysterious
Mola Ram's dungeon
- Goddess Kali. Lava pits. Human sacrifice
Heart and Death -
Mystery
BLACK MAGIC.
Voodoo to harm the real person
The
NATURE
- not post-colonial
The setting, frames and context - contribute
Short Round
Jones' sidekick
Mimic man
Menacing as a mimic man
'almost the same but not quite'
Willie Scott
Typical occident
uncomfortable in the orient
ambivalent subject
grossly misplaced
Wishes to be an Indian princess
ORIENTALISM
Binary Opposites
Unequal power dynamics
White man’s burden
Imperialism
Degenerate race
Microcosm symbolising India
Colonisation of mind
Theories of Colonial Discourse
Religion
Timeless stereotype
Anti-Colonialism
Internal/ Neo Colonialism
Decolonisation of mind
Frantz Fanon
Native Intellectual
Oxford educated
Well versed with -
1. Names of eminent British intellectuals
2. History of the nation
Full knowledge - the colonization of the mind
Subject-Object Relation
partner-in-crime
the western man helps native man - uncover mysteries of his own land.
relation is never equal
Prime Minister of Pankot
Lu-Haang and Dr. Jones
Bhabha Spivak
fore-runners of post-colonial discourse
Ambivalence




Mimicry
Indiana Jones
Maharaja Zaalim
English Speaking Natives
Short Round
Village Head
Influence of Industrial Revolution
HOMI BHABHA
Can the
sub-altern
speak?
Villagers' plea and language
White vs. Brown Woman
Voicelessness of the brown
women
Ignorance towards Shortie's voice
GAYATRI C. SPIVAC
SUB ALTERN CAN
NEVER
SPEAK
1. Act of re-reading and rewriting texts.

2. Deal with the representation of the colonised.

3. Check whether, this visual text writes back to the empire or not?
Theoretical Approaches of
Post-Colonialism
Mola Ram
villainous Indian demonic thugee priest
Said’s representation of Orient
God-Man’s character has been projected as disproportionately larger than life
portrayed as strange, dark, sinister and uncivilized
.projects all the strange activities that the east indulges in according to the west
fabricated construct of the Western fantasy
Opposite of Dr. Jones
The Empire Writes Back
DOES NOT qualify as writing back.
Fits the
third criticism
of the form of analysis

No resistance offered to the notions of Colonialism
However, individual characters do seem to offer resistance

Examples of Empire Writes Back


Peter Carey’s - Jack Maggs
Jean Rhys' - Wide Sargasso Sea


Ashutosh Gowarikar’s - Lagaan
The Planter's Wife (1952)
Tai-Pan (1986)
The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
Books
Movies
Conclusion
The Orientalist representations -
not rare
.
Plethora of written and visual texts available - propagate the same stereotypes
Timelessness
of the mis-representation
All this points us towards one central question
The Orient and subsequently India continues to be
constructed in the same way
for the Occident.

This
act of colonisation
of the mind has
prevailed
in these subtle representations over the years,
internalised by the natives
and affecting their perceptions of themselves.
GROUP 7
ARE WE TRULY POST-COLONIAL?
Full transcript