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Exploitation, victimhood, and gendered performance in Rituparno Ghosh's Bariwali

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journal contribution
posted on 28.10.2016, 13:03 by Rohit Dasgupta, Tanmayee Banerjee
This article analyzes Rituparno Ghosh's celebrated film Bariwali (The Lady of the House, 2000). The film marks the beginnings of Ghosh's treatment of gender and sexual politics. Ghosh's earlier films Unishe April (1994) and Dahan (1997) engaged with strong female characters, but Bariwali is the first of his films to narrate the various ways in which female agency is routed through male exploitation and patriarchy. Through close readings of the characters and the visual tropes perspicaciously crafted by Ghosh, this article positions hegemonic masculinity and heteropatriarchal privilege as the exploiter within India's gendered politics. By placing the protagonist Banalata both within the feudal space as well as within the bhadralok discourse, one can trace the transition from tradition to modernity that the story represents, and in turn trace Ghosh's unique understanding of and reaction against India's prevailing social and cultural norms.
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  • Loughborough University London

Published in

Film Quarterly

Volume

69

Issue

4

Pages

35 - 46

Citation

DASGUPTA, R.K. and BANERJEE, T., 2016. Exploitation, victimhood, and gendered performance in Rituparno Ghosh's Bariwali. Film Quarterly, 69 (4), pp. 35-46.

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© University of California Press

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VoR (Version of Record)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

16/05/2016

Publication date

2016-06-20

Notes

Published as DASGUPTA, R.K. and BANERJEE, T., 2016. Exploitation, victimhood, and gendered performance in Rituparno Ghosh's Bariwali. Film Quarterly, 69 (4), pp. 35-46. © 2016 by the Regents of the University of California. Copying and permissions notice: Authorization to copy this content beyond fair use (as specified in Sections 107 and 108 of the U. S. Copyright Law) for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients, is granted by the Regents of the University of California for libraries and other users, provided that they are registered with and pay the specified fee via Rightslink® or directly with the Copyright Clearance Center.

ISSN

0015-1386

eISSN

1533-8630

Language

en

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