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Bollywoodization or ghettoization? The Bangladeshi dream factory is in disarray

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In this article, I claim that instead of making Bangladeshi films appealing to the Bangladeshi middle-class audience, the hegemony of Bollywood films has ghettoized them. I explain that with the change in the target audience and the production and exhibition of Bollywood films in the 1990s, the Bangladeshi middle-class audience responded to this change – as did the Indian middle-class audience – and was alienated from Bangladeshi commercial films. The absence of middle-class audiences in Bangladeshi cinema halls, however, was quickly filled out by working-class audiences who migrated from rural areas following economic liberalization and the expansion of the ready-made garment, housing and transport industries from the 1990s onwards. Bangladeshi commercial filmmakers then targeted the so-called captive lower-class audience with action-packed vulgar or obscene films. Through analysing the titles of Bangladeshi commercial films produced in the 1990s and the 2000s, I expound on how these films were ghettoized, completely alienating the middle-class audience.
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Keywords: Bangladeshi film; Bollywoodization; South Asia; film and obscenity; ghettoization; hegemony

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: North South University

Publication date: October 1, 2017

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  • Studies in South Asian Film and Media (SAFM) is the most promising new journal in the field. This peer-reviewed publication is committed to looking at the media and cinemas of the Indian subcontinent in their social, political, economic, historical, and increasingly globalized and diasporic contexts. The journal will evaluate these topics in relation to class, caste, gender, race, sexuality, and ideology.
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