Bearing Witness: Rape, Female Resistance, Male Authority and the Problems of Gender Representation in Popular Indian Cinema
Indian cinema in its preoccupation with rape shows a parallel between feminist resistance and nationalist resistance. While Mirch Masala (1985), set in pre-Independence rural India, is able to draw upon a mythology of nationalist resistance, which also, at the same time, ‘sanctions and mediates the potentially subversive politics of female resistance’, later films like Zakhmi Aurat (1988) and Damini (1993) qualify women's autonomous resistance by including male partners to witness, support and legitimise their actions. We conclude that in popular cinema ‘the more radical the gesture of resistance, the more conservative the resolution’. All the same, as fanta sised reactions to rape enacted by women, they engage the politics of female resistance in ways that are relevant to our feminist understanding. © 2000, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.
Indian Journal of Gender Studies
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Last Page Number
Gupta-Cassale, Nira, "Bearing Witness: Rape, Female Resistance, Male Authority and the Problems of Gender Representation in Popular Indian Cinema" (2000). Kean Publications. 2769.