Abstract

This essay describes the workings of the Films Division of India (FD) in the first two decades since its establishment in 1948. It brings together a variety of writings—various Film Enquiry Committee reports and writings by Indian and International documentary filmmakers, technicians, scriptwriters, film critics, directors, and officers in the FD along with filmmakers from the Bombay and other film industries. It uses these materials to consider the role that postcolonial exigencies, colonial lineage, and international aspirations played in the genesis and practices of the FD between the 1940s and the 1960s. Locating the state’s mission of producing documentary film at the intersection of these discourses and currents, the essay not only points to the complex origins and workings of the FD and calls into question our only summarization of it as a statist tool but also interrogates what constitutes an appropriate historical method of engaging with an institution like the FD that did not evolve from decolonization in uncomplicated ways.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1542-4251
Print ISSN
0149-1830
Pages
pp. 15-26
Launched on MUSE
2013-02-10
Open Access
No
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