On August 15, 1947, India gained its independence from the British Empire. Following independence, a burgeoning film industry took off at an amazing pace. The country’s independence played a key role in the film industry, affecting the philosophical and political underpinnings of cinematic productions, and providing modern viewers a fascinating look into the social and political goings-on of the past. Today, India is the single largest producer of full-length films on the planet, with many more being released every month.
South Asian cinema provides an invaluable resource for understanding the region and the international film and other cultural industries. These films can also provide interesting data for scholars and students of media, social sciences, and other sections of the arts and humanities.
The collection includes a particular focus on films from the so-called Golden Age of Indian Cinema. Spanning the late 1940s through the 1960s, this period saw the production of some of India’s most critically acclaimed directors, actors and actresses, and films of all time. In fact, some of these are renowned not just within the realm of Indian cinema, but throughout the world.
Whether you are interested in Indian films specifically, or film history in general, check out some movies and related materials. You might start by:
We also have an extensive collection of Hindi and Bengali film booklets, which provide key socio-cultural context on the films in their original language.
For additional information about this period in Indian cinema, check out the Wikipedia summary here. For a more in-depth examination, here are some suggested resources to check out via IUCAT:
- House Full: The Golden Age of Hindi Cinema edited by Ziya Us Salam
- 100 Years of Indian Cinema edited by Neelam Laitonjam
- Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema by Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Paul Willemen
- Indian Cinema: The Bollywood Saga by Dinesh Raheja and Jitendra Kothari
- Indian Cinema: A Visual Voyage by the National Film Development Corporation
- Pride of Tamil Cinema 1931-2013: Tamil Films that have Earned National and International Recognition by G. Dhananjayan
- Bengali Cinema: 'An Other Nation' by Sharmistha Gooptu
- Bengali Cinema by Kironmoy Raha