The Strange Disappearance of Bombay from its Own Cinema: A Case of Imperialism or Globalization?

Jyotsna Kapur, Manjunath Pendakur

Abstract


Coinciding with the Indian government's initiation ofneo-liberal economic "reforms" in 1991 a new phenomenon started to appear in popular Hindi cinema: The actual city ofBombay disappeared as a location giving way to an entirely fictitious Bombay. This paper explains the connections between the textual disappearance of Bombay and the contemporary integration of India into global capital; the political economy of the changing audience and revenues for Hindi cinema and its textual representations of public and private space; andfinally the contradictory ways in which capitalism both integrates the globe andfragments it. Our analysis is located in recent theoretical attempts to understand the changing nature of urban spaces in contemporary capitalism, the emergence of a transnational bourgeoisie, and draws attention to the continuing relevance ofthe term imperialism in analyzing global capital. 

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