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07 Nov 2011
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DescriptionContentsAuthors

The number of people living under British colonial rule in the two decades after 1945 shrank from 700 million to 5 million, amid the fractious and blood-soaked decomposition of the largest and most ambitious imperial venture in human history. What roles did film play across the period 1939–65, in the face of rapidly changing geopolitics? What were the varied ways in which film registered and projected colonial and neocolonial discourse and practice? What do these films now reveal about the fantasies and realities of colonial rule and its ostensible dissolution? Film and the End of Empire brings together leading international scholars to address these questions.

Contributors examine the enmeshing of cultural representation and political and economic control, and demonstrate the ways in which state and non-state actors harnessed film to instructional and pedagogical functions, putting media to work in order to shape the attitudes and conduct of populations to sustain colonial and neocolonial governmental order. They focus on a wide range of material, including newsreels; state-produced documentaries; corporate-financed non-fiction films; and narrative fiction films telling stories about the past and present of imperialist endeavour. At the same time, they address the institutions that were formed to foster colonial film, and develop new non-theatrical forms of global distribution and exhibition. Film and the End of Empire opens up a fascinating new area of film history and will be indispensable reading for those interested in global cinema history, didactic and non-theatrical cinema, film and geopolitics, and those interested in Britain's colonial history and its continuing legacy. This book was produced in conjunction with a major new website housing freely available materials and films relating to British colonial cinema, www.colonialfilm.org.uk, and a companion volume entitled Empire and Film.


Description

The number of people living under British colonial rule in the two decades after 1945 shrank from 700 million to 5 million, amid the fractious and blood-soaked decomposition of the largest and most ambitious imperial venture in human history. What roles did film play across the period 1939–65, in the face of rapidly changing geopolitics? What were the varied ways in which film registered and projected colonial and neocolonial discourse and practice? What do these films now reveal about the fantasies and realities of colonial rule and its ostensible dissolution? Film and the End of Empire brings together leading international scholars to address these questions.

Contributors examine the enmeshing of cultural representation and political and economic control, and demonstrate the ways in which state and non-state actors harnessed film to instructional and pedagogical functions, putting media to work in order to shape the attitudes and conduct of populations to sustain colonial and neocolonial governmental order. They focus on a wide range of material, including newsreels; state-produced documentaries; corporate-financed non-fiction films; and narrative fiction films telling stories about the past and present of imperialist endeavour. At the same time, they address the institutions that were formed to foster colonial film, and develop new non-theatrical forms of global distribution and exhibition. Film and the End of Empire opens up a fascinating new area of film history and will be indispensable reading for those interested in global cinema history, didactic and non-theatrical cinema, film and geopolitics, and those interested in Britain's colonial history and its continuing legacy. This book was produced in conjunction with a major new website housing freely available materials and films relating to British colonial cinema, www.colonialfilm.org.uk, and a companion volume entitled Empire and Film.


Contents

Introduction: Film at the End of Empire; L.Grieveson
Great Games: Film, History and Working-Through Britain's Colonial Legacy; P.Gilroy
PART I: EMPIRE AT WAR
The Last Roll of the Dice: Morning, Noon and Night, Empire, and the Historiography of the Crown Film Unit; M.Stollery
India on Film: 1939-1947; R. Osborne
Official and Amateur: Exploring Information Film in India, 1920s-1940s; R.Vasudevan
Who Needs a Witch Doctor? African Activists and the Re-Imagining of Africa in the 1940s; P.Zachernuk
'Johnny Gurkha Loves a Party'
: The Colonial Film Archive and the Racial Imaginary of the Worker-Warrior; V.Ware
PART II FILM/GOVERNMENT/DEVELOPMENT
From the Inside: The Colonial Film Unit and the Beginning of the End; T.Rice
Images of Empire on Shifting Sands: the Colonial Film Unit in West Africa in the Post-War Period; R.Smyth
The End of Empire: The Films of the Malayan Film Unit in 1950s British Malaya; H.Muthalib
PART III: PROJECTING AFRICA
Projecting the Modern Colonial State: Mobile Cinema in Kenya; C.Ambler
Poverty and Development as Themes in British Films on the Gold Coast, 1927-1957; G.Austin
Mumbo-Jumbo, Magic and Modernity: Africa in British Cinema, 1946-1965; W.Webster
Dislocations: Some Reflections on the Colonial Compilation Film; L.Mulvey
PART IV: AFTERTHOUGHTS ON COLONIAL FILM
Notes on the Making of Black Balance: An Ongoing Film Essay on the Colonial Archive; F.César
The Repatriation of Jamaican Film Images; F.St.Juste
Undoing the Colonial Archive; I.Julien
The Colonial Regime of Knowledge: Film, Archives and Re-Imaging Colonial Power; A.Bogues
Perennial Empire: It's Ends Provide the Means for National Despotism in Lanka Even Today; A.Parakrama
Missing the End: Falsehood and Fantasy in Late Colonial Cinema; F.Gooding
Index



Authors

LEE GRIEVESON is Director of Film Studies at University College London.

COLIN MACCABEis Distinguished Professor of English and Film at the University of Pittsburgh and Associate Director of the London Consortium