Tamil Cinema: An Interdisciplinary Perspective Symposium


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  • Host Department: india
  • Date: 04/11/2014
  • Time: 4:00PM - 5:30PM

  • Location: 4448 East Hall

  • Description:

    ChairAswin Punathambekar

    Swarnavel PillaiVijaya-Vahuni and Prasad: Representation and Others

    Ram Mahalingam,  M.R. Radha and Rationalist thought in Tamil Cinema: A Case Study

    Ganga Rudraiah, Cinema of the Social: Stars, Fans, and Genre in Tamil Cinema


    5:45 PM:      Premier of Invisible Other, documentary on caste in Tamil Cinema

    Invisible Other

    Dir: Suresh Kumar

    Moderator: Balmurli Natarajan

    For over five decades, Tamil cinema has been more than just a prominent art form in the South-Indian state of Tamil Nadu (TN). Representations in the medium have, often directly, shaped the socio-political lives of the people cutting through its diverse demographics. Tamil cinema’s engagement with caste, especially between the late 80s and the late 90s, is of considerable significance. The emergence of film makers from the non-brahmin and dominant castes brought to screen a conspicuous, unapologetic adaptation of narratives that promoted caste supremacy. The movies, in projecting an upper caste patriarch that embodied kindness, moral certitude, righteousness and courage, have actively marginalized the lower caste members in the movie or worse, denied their existence altogether. The Invisible Other tries to understand the status quo and explore some of the direct, observable effects of these films on the mainstream discourse.

    Free and open to the public

    Sponsored by: Center for South Asian Studies, Department of Psychology, and Global Scholars Program