Inderscience Publishers

Tales of sustainability and justice? A sustainability reading of contemporary commercial Hindi cinema

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This essay explores the extent to which sustainability tales could come from the Mumbai–based Hindi film industry on one hand because this cinema culture is much more diverse than a Western gaze usually assumes and, arguably, has the potential to deal with serious topics such as sustainability or climate change, on the other hand because it can broaden the perspective of this special issue towards a non–Western film industry with partly other aesthetic and narrative biases. First, the paper generally discusses how one can analyse environmental issues in a non–Western film culture such as the Hindi cinema and suggests amplifying an environmental, ecocritism approach with perspectives from postcolonial studies. Subsequently, the paper addresses sustainability in an Indian context before looking closer at the Hindi film industry. Certain characteristics and recent developments are explained. In consequence of a re–orientation the Hindi film industry touches on new issues. Sustainability may be one of them.

Keywords: Bollywood, Hindi cinema, Indian cinema, postcolonial cinema, sustainability, ecocriticism, India, environmental sustainability, justice, contemporary cinema, Hindi films, Hindi movies, sustainable development, climate change

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