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Diasporic visions: colonialism, nostalgia and the empire in Gurinder Chadha’s Viceroy’s House
journal contributionposted on 29.05.2020, 15:11 by Clelia Clini
Released on the 70th anniversary of Partition, Gurinder Chadha’s film Viceroy’s House, which is narratively and stylistically constructed in the fashion of heritage cinema, chronicles the last days of the empire in India and is said to provide a ‘British Asian perspective’ on Partition. This article addresses the debate that followed the release of the film and, in particular, the analysis focuses on the interplay between Partition, diaspora, and representations of the imperial past. Through the analysis of the film’s structure and narrative, the article discusses its representation of British India and argues that, notwithstanding its potential to unsettle traditional representations of the empire of period dramas, the film’s glamorous depiction of the British rulers ultimately feeds into the contemporary wave of colonial nostalgia.