wiki:All-India Film

Version 2 (modified by UshaR, 11 years ago) (diff)


All-India Film

Generic term introduced and used most consistently by critic Chidananda Das Gupta? to signify mass-produced film formula pioneered by post-WW2 Hindi cinema and duplicated by regional film industries predominantly in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Bengali. As chronicled by the S.K. Patil Film Enquiry Committee Report (1951), following the withdrawal in 1946 of the licensing system imposed upon film-making during WW2 and the lifting of restrictions on raw stock: ‘There was a sudden spurt in both production and exhibition. [T]heatre equipment imported in the two years 1946-47 and 1947-48 amounted in value to a crore of rupees. Studio equipment costing another crore of rupees was also imported and installed. [W]ithin three months of decontrol, over 100 new producers entered the field ... and new films released numbered over 200 in 1946 and 283 in 1947.’ The All-India film appropriates aspects both from indigenous popular film and theatre genres and from Hollywood, subordinating them to an all-encompassing entertainment formula designed to overcome regional and linguistic boundaries. Das Gupta (1968) ascribes to this formula the function of a ‘cultural leadership [that reinforces] some of the unifying tendencies in our social and economic changes [a]nd provides an inferior alternative [to a leadership that] has not emerged because of the hiatus between the intelligentsia, to which the leaders belong, and the masses’. The contention that the All-India film performs by default an integrating nationalist function similar to the consciously stated aim of AIR and more recently Doordarshan, has had a crucial influence on India’s national film industry policies since the S.K. Patil Committee: the industry’s inability to be financially self- sustaining is usually counterbalanced by its alleged ability to foster a unified contemporary ‘indigenous’ culture.