The rise of Chindia in the global film Industry

Since the trend of westernizing indian and chinese cultures by the Hollywood film industry, attentions of the global film industry have been turned to the potential of the Chinese and Indian film industries to contribute their own cultural films and to challenge the Western-dominated film industry.

The emergence of new technologies(DVD’S, VCR’S, tapes, internet streaming) has been one of the major factors attributed to the increased availability of trans-national films, as viewers around the world have been allowed access to films that may not have necessarily been made available or screened in their country.

A good example of cultural hybridization within a film , is that of Canadian director James Cameron’s Avatar, which up on being released in 2009, was named the world’s highest grossing films of all time.  It cleverly constructed its storyline in close alignment with traditional Hindu religious fable Ramayana in which there are several apparent similarities between the two; both the characters from Avatar and Ramayana  have blue skin, the plot of both depicts a battle between “foreigner invaders” and the native people of the land they are protecting and the use of bows and arrows as weapons used against the humans, as used by Rama and his followers in the Hindu tale. This blog further discusses the similarities:

The close similarities between the two texts offers a visual example of just how westernized the Indian religious culture has become, due to it’s growing popularity amongst a western audience. Although these similarities may not be so apparent to the general audience, they are still present and have resulted in immense success for the film and more exposure for Indian culture, which may not have been achieved if presented in an Indian produced film of the same nature as Avatar.

So it is becoming clear that the concept of “Chindia” is rapidly growing within the Western film industry and continues to produce successful films such as Avatar, Slumdog Millionaire and perhaps where it all began, the classic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and it will be interesting to see what follows.


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