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Nationalism and postcolonialism in Indian science fiction: Bollywood's Koi Mil Gaya (2003)

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Koi Mil Gaya (2003), a Hindi-language Bollywood musical set in the near future and concerning a scientist who contacts extraterrestrials, is Hindi cinema's first big-budget attempt at science fiction. It is worthy of note for several reasons. The film, which is filled with references to Hindu gods and mythologies, aligns itself with, borrows from, and reshapes the traditions of science fiction (Batty and Markley 2002), using strategies associated with postcolonial cultural production. It also subverts many of the conventions of Hollywood science fiction cinema, using similar aspects of film form for different purposes. However, Koi Mil Gaya occupies a contested postcolonial space, as its alignment with the recent rise of Hindu nationalism in India creates a kind of colonial order in itself; one which in the end re-inscribes the hierarchical systems of oppression that are associated with colonialism.

Keywords: Bollywood; India; extreme nationalism; modernity; postcolonialism; science fiction

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Richmond, The American International University in London.

Publication date: November 7, 2007

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