We’re happy to announce the publication of BioScope vol. 11. no. 1.
This special issue is a step towards mapping a different landscape. It features filmmakers from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Pakistan working in fiction and, in a few instances, documentary cinema, with feature-length and short films. The focus and scope are resolutely contemporary and pan-South Asian, foregrounding directors who emerged from the early 2000s and where the term ‘regional cinema’ refers not, as is habitually the case in discussions of Indian cinema, to films in an Indian language other than Hindi, but to the variety of cinemas made in the countries that make up South Asia, as defined by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and People’s SAARC. We use the term ‘region’ here much in the way it applies in histories of Chinese, Arab, African or Latin American cinemas, to demarcate a geographical area that, while inhabited by diverse linguistic, ethnic and religious communities, shares a history of British colonial occupation. In this sense, regional cinema points to a cluster of national cinemas that have to contend with Hindi cinema’s invasive operation, both legitimate and pirate. However, as we hope it will become apparent from both the essays and the interviews included in the Fieldwork section of this issue, neither Bollywood nor Hindi cinema delimit the channels which connect contemporary women filmmakers across South Asia.
Introduction: Why a Special Issue on Women’s Cinema?
Behind the Scenes: The Women Filmmakers of New Pakistani Cinema
Interrogating Patriarchy: Transgressive Discourses of ‘F-Rated’ Independent Hindi Films
Ashvin Immanuel Devasundaram
‘Camera Obscura’ to ‘Camera Dentata’: Women Directors and the Politics of Gender in Malayalam Cinema
Meena T. Pillai
Whose Gaze? Stories Told between Kabul, Herat and Berlin
Contemporary Women Filmmakers in Myanmar: Reflections on a Visit in February 2019
Interview with Rubaiyat Hossain
Interview with Dechen Roder
Interview with Lanka Bandaranayake
Book review: S. A. Chatterji, Filming Reality: The Independent Documentary Movement in India, K. P. Jayasankar & A. Monteiro, A Fly in the Curry: Independent Documentary Film in India and A. Sharma, Documentary Films in India: Critical Aesthetics at Work
Book review: Ronak Kapadia, Insurgent Aesthetics: Security and the Queer Life of the Forever War