Tiffin Talk: Gendered Infidelity in Hindi Cinema

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17 September 2015 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Upstairs Seminar Room, Australia India Institute, 147-149 Barry St Carlton, The University of Melbourne, 3053

Providing a medium of expression while qualifying as an art form, cinema has been the only medium for entertainment up till not too long ago. Due to the fluid nature of film, one responds to it emotionally. That’s why cinema carries the added burden of providing a melodramatic framework of struggle, conflicts, as well as good and evil according to socially constructed world. It also has to portray style, culture and knowledge.

In an Indian society, marriage is sacred, yet adultery by men is guiltless in Hindi cinema. An adulterous husband finally returning to his loyal wife has probably been the commonest feature in Indian films but when it comes to an adulterous wife, film-makers enters into a cautious space. The gender representation is at the cross road of cultural negotiation. It is hesitant and is trapped into the denial of identity.

Time changes, and so has Hindi cinema. Looking at mainstream and alternate Hindi cinema, this talk will explore the stereotypes, challenges, conflicts and treatment given in a films dealing with the subject of adultery. These films include Ek Pal, Ek Baar Phir, Astitva, Paroma. This talk will dissect these issues in the context of new wave cinema in films such as Arth as well as comparing the commercial cinema of the 60s, 80s, the 2000s and onwards with reference to films such as Gumrah, Silsila and Kabhi Alvida na Kahna respectively.

About the Speaker

Masters of Art in Linguistics and a Science graduate, Anita Barar is an accomplished writer; playwright; film maker, poet in Hindi & English language.   

Winner of ‘Best Work- Film Maker’ and ‘Best Community worker’ by Bhavan Australia, Anita has also been recipient of ‘Editor’s choice award’ and ‘Honoured Poet’ by International Liberary of poets, Washington, and has won first prize in ‘All India Story competition’. Her other recognitions include ‘Samman Patra’ for Hindi language contribution, reading of her stories at various Sydney writers festivals.

Her feature documentary Crossing the Line apart from being an official selection at various International Film festivals has also been part of Global conferences on Asian Studies.  A doco drama film A New Dawn written and directed by her on the subject of Domestic Violence has been a resource material in Australia whereas her Short films and Theatre writing & performances have been part of various National Film and Theatre festivals.

Anita facilitates and tutor creative writing, film and theatre workshops for community projects. She writes for a few film links of India and is also associated with SBS Radio of Australia (Hindi language).

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