The Legacy of the Empire: A New Historicist Study of the Colonial and Postcolonial Agenda in Selected Indian and Western Cinema
The term Empire refers to an expansion of territory by including other countries or other continents under the rule of a powerful state. The concept of Empire Cinema is focused on the agenda of using some specific kind of films for propagating and justifying the existence of colonial forces on the colonised land. Empire Cinema fulfils this need for the imperial powers. New Historicist analysis of the films helps to analyse, to relate and to reinterpret the focussed colonial issues in the selected films with respect to the Postcolonial period. The study of these films helps to have a glimpse into the colonial socio-cultural as well as political encounter between colonial powers and the colonised subjects. The analysis of the empire films also exhibits the politics of film censorship.The films are becoming a vital and interesting medium for describing the events of the past. The selected films offer representation from both colonial and colonised perspectives while at the same time dealing with the representation of colonial and postcolonial issues like the thugi cult, sati, the communal violence in colonial era, the Indian- British individual interactions, the dilemma of Anglo-Indians and Indian resistance to the British Empire. The New Historicist study highlights the dual role of cinema; as an art form and as medium to propagate a specific ideology by targeting a particular kind of audience, at a specific point of time. The selected films can be analysed to represent the colonial nostalgia in the postcolonial era and remain a useful medium of revisiting the colonial history of a nation.