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UAL Research Online

Female Desire in Contemporary Indian Cinema

Savita, Priyanka (2021) Female Desire in Contemporary Indian Cinema. PhD thesis, University for the Creative Arts.

Type of Research: Thesis
Creators: Savita, Priyanka

This thesis seeks to investigate the way women are conjunction with portrayed in Bollywood films in the development of female authorship, particularly in the last decade. The journey of women’s representation in Bollywood, from the homogeneous image of a m other, a sister and a wife who is submissive but can also dance or sing beautifully to the independent woman in ‘new cinema’, has been arduous and is not over yet. In this thesis, I focus on the emerging female writers/directors whose whole works subvert t he conventional standards of narrative and character building. This work aims to combine feminist scholarship, including Western psychoanalytically fuelled feminism and Indian feminism, as well as Hindu religious beliefs and traditions, as I believe these can offer unexpected clues to the representation of females in Bollywood. Various factors, including race, caste, religion and Hindu mythology, impact Indian cinema, but my hypotheses are that it is patriarchal culture that has influenced it the most. It is by combining these different approaches that I believe I push the boundaries of feminist discourses forward.

I argue that at the present time woman’s image is stuck between Indian virtue and modernity. I also present the tradition of the female goddesse s as a possible site of strength for female authorship and female representation in cinema in India. Building on the presence of female goddesses in the Hindu belief system and mythologies, I seek to identify and explore the transgressive figure of the ‘na sty woman’ that arises in global cinema, including Indian cinema. This work opens up space for discussing the transformation of women’s agency, ‘the new woman’ and the formation of the new form of cinema in India ‘feminist films or womencentred films’.

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Date: December 2021
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2023 08:34
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2024 10:06
Item ID: 19919
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/19919

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