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India and the Cold War$
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Manu Bhagavan

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469651163

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469651163.001.0001

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Bertrand Russell in Bollyworld

Bertrand Russell in Bollyworld

Film, the Cold War, and a Postmortem on Peace

(p.199) Chapter Nine Bertrand Russell in Bollyworld
India and the Cold War

Raminder Kaur

University of North Carolina Press

The chapter considers the scope of film to act as what is described as a ‘docu-drama-ment’ for conveying affective engagements with political history. It does so with a focus on unique incidents in the history of Indian popular cinema with the example of the film, Aman (Mohan Kumar, 1967). The discussion centers on the cameo appearance of a British philosopher, Bertrand Russell, in the film along with phantasmal invocations of Indian anti-nuclear weapons protagonists such as India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and reproductions of the 1945 atomic attack in Hiroshima and subsequent nuclear tests in the Pacific. The chapter considers how the film may be viewed in terms of a ‘corporeal compound lens’ on the political vicissitudes of the 1960s. With such an approach – on the one hand to do with the assemblage of a historical film, and on the other, to do with the way this intersects with compound lines of reflexive reception – the author shows how the ‘docu-drama-ment’ moves away from linear equations of the filmic signifier with the signified - or the film and the represented - to one that revels in affective residues and resonances that are a constitutive force in socio-political realities of the Cold War era. 

Keywords:   Film, Historical, Aman, Bertrand Russel, Cameo, Anti-nuclear, Cold War, Reflexive reception

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