[Reader-list] The new face of Communal cinema

Lehar .. lehar_hind at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 10 13:06:07 IST 2003


The situation for freedom of expression in India is
following alarming trends close to the state of the
Third Reich as described below.
Films endorsing the official govt ideology are being
financed and supported by the govt, regardless of the
shocking distortions of historical fact- simply to
promote the ideology of hatred and promote certain
communities and debase others. See note on Nazi cinema

The smashing of 'Water’ s sets by the govt. armed
gangs is a case in example-  while utterly falsifying
and semi fictional films such as Ghadar and Bhagat
Singh were approved and endorsed by the govt.
This shows that the distortion of history is not
restricted to the schoolbooks.
The Mutiny is the next case in point. Close BJP
associate and Zee TV producer Nitin Keni, infamous for
 Ghadar, in association with BJP MP UTTAMSINGH pawara
[BJP-Jalna (Maharashtra)].  is producing the
controversial film on Indira Gandhi and also on the
Muitny, promoting the ‘Brahmin’ Mangal Pandey ( A
recent program said: India’s first freedom fighter is:
Mangal Pandey and the second one: Maj Pandey of the
Kargill war, as shown in JPO DUtta LOC Kargill,
another pop patriotism saga)

We must understand the implications of the rising
intolerance in Indian cinema which is watched by
millions. No amounts of initiatives at communal
harmony and peace meetings can address this poison
which is being promulgated by the govt. Nazi Germany
did exactly the same things, and all producers and
directors un sympathetic to Nazi ideology were weeded
out, harassed and those sympathetic to the Jew were
called ‘traitors’ and their films sets smashed.

A citizens forum for preservation of free speech or
the like would be very  effective.
A PIL has already been filed for the Indira Gandhi
The fact that Keni is producing the Munity film, (
mentioned in the last email) confirms our worst fears.

The last bastion of Hindu Muslim unity in this country
is about to fall.unless we as citizens wake up soon.
The Ministry of Illusion: Nazi Cinema and Its
by Eric Rentschler 

What role did film play in mobilizing public support
for Germany's Third Reich? What can such films tell us
about the nature of national socialism and the appeal
of Nazi culture?
Over 1000 films were produced during Germany's 12-year
Third Reich. While some were blatant anti-Semitic
propaganda, like the notorious epic Jud Suss, a
variety of films were made in line with the
"orchestra" principle of Goebbels, which stated, "We
do not expect everyone to play the same instrument, we
only expect that people play according to a plan."
Rentschler (film, Univ. of Califronia, Irvine)
examines the Nazi media culture "plan," which created
a world of illusion, alternating between "heavy hands
and light touches" with the aim of negating
"alternative experience and independent thought." 

This is just one of the little known facts presented
in this extremely important and entertaining book. The
Nazis never had to invent a cinema from the ground up;
the Germany they inherited had perhaps the most
sophisticated film industry this side of Hollywood.
Add the fact that the Nazi hierarchy were film
fanatics and it is somewhat easier to see why the
cinema of the Third Reich developed as it did.

Eric Rentschler points out that instead of overt
propaganda, Joseph Goebbles preferred as subliminal
message instead. Too many preachy films would turn off
the audience; instead, if films were enrobed in
traditional German values, the message is all the
easier not only to get across, but to gain acceptance.
The most frightening aspect of "Jew Suss" (the most
notorious Anti-Semitic film ever made)is how the
message is presented so matter-of-factly. No over the
top drama, but an effective use of melodramatic
elements to get the point across.

A documentary on the German motion picture and its use
as a propaganda tool, produced by Erwin Leiser
(originally titled Deutschland Erwache). Excerpts from
the following German feature films are included: Dawn
(1933), Hitler Youth Quex (1933), Bismarck (
In Heide Fehrenbach's course on "Nazism on Film,"
students began to answer these questions by examining
the form and function of Nazi self-representation on
celluloid, then turned to a study of the cultural
legacy of nazism, both in postwar German society and
abroad. In the process, students were challenged to
rethink the relationship between "entertainment" and
"ideology," "propaganda" and "documentary," and
even-perhaps most surprisingly-the conventions of
"Nazi Cinema" and Hollywood.

This recycling raises important issues for the
historian regarding the relationship of film and
history. How should historians approach films as
'documents?' To what extent can they give us access to
the 'past-ness' of the past'? What is the role of film
in historical understanding? Ultimately, of course,
posing such questions forces us to rethink the ways we
study the past and tell its stories; it forces us to
rethink what we do when we 'do' history."

More on Nitin Keni: type into Google
Assoc with BJP: type: Nitin Keni  + BJP

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