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“Orientalism” countered?

2010 August 18
by smonani

NPR’ morning edition included a segment by Vassar film scholar, Mia Mask titled “Eat, Pray, Love, Leave: Orientalism Still Big Onscreen.” Its message is simple:”Oriental” cliches are still prominent in contemporary Hollywood cinema. Not only do films about 40-something women heading to the East (e.g., Eat, Pray, Love, Cairo Time, and Sex in the City) repeat the tired triteness of the exotic, timeless East where one heads to find oneself but films such as Syriana hash out their own stereotypes, of both the people and the physical spaces they occupy.

Which got me thinking–what are the alternatives?  Do we need to look towards alternative cinema (such as Iranian New Wave ) or are there examples within Hollywood that challenge these stereotypes?  I can’t think of any immediately but, perhaps others can? If so, please comment.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. srust permalink*
    August 18, 2010

    It’s a lot easier to think of more examples of stereotypes than alternatives. How about Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom, Gandhi, Passage to India, Darjeeling Limited and on and on.

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