Skip to Content. Countering these perspectives, through an examination of media commentary on the Canadian-Indian film Fire this essay underscores the difficulties involved in transporting meaning across cultural borders. Even as cross-border flows have facilitated the movement of media products, I argue that understandings of cultural artifacts are embedded in specific places and locations. These thumbnail sketches summarize the argument I forward in this essay: the ways in which we understand cultural products are deeply rooted in the historical conditions that mark the locus of spectatorship and are not free-floating.
Film flashback: ‘Fire’ was the first Indian film to bring women in love out of the shadows
Before Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga,’ Deepa Mehta’s Fire dared to explore a lesbian theme
Sign in. With an amazing slate of films at the TIFF this year, our experts choose one that stands above the rest. Watch now. It's and the borderlines between India and Pakistan are being drawn. A young girl witnesses tragedy as her ayah nanny is caught between the love of two men and the rising tide of political and religious violence. A thesis picture. In , Gandhi's party is making inroads in women's rights.
In addition to the literal references to seeing, Fire can be read as a parable on looking and an allegory about spectatorship. The brothers could well be the spectators whose heteronormatively circumscribed imagination renders invisible all signs of queer desire, even when plainly visible. With few exception, representations of female bonding, unlike make bonding, were largely absent from popular Indian cinema until the turn of the twenty-first century. Barring films that privileged the heroine, as in the genre of courtesan films, women never enjoyed the narrative centrality that male protagonists did. It was only in the s that this began to change.