Western civilisation and its impact on the global film industry

The global film industry is moving beyond Hollywood and recognising the capabilities of different cultures and industries. Hollywood and westernised culture have become a leading influence in society contributing to several international industries including Bollywood, Nollywood and the recent Chinese film industry. It is predicted that the Indian and Chinese film industry will soon establish dominance over westernised entertainment due to factors such as the internet and cable television enabling them to produce hybrid shows that reflect universal themes (Karan & Schaefar 2010, p. 309).

However western influences are slowly impacting on several cultures including India where Bollywood has become a core element in their cultural identity. Khurana agrees, “That’s the saddest thing in our country,” she says as her sister’s face is transformed into Bollywood glamor. “Looks, color of skin — we should ignore such things.” (Basu 2013).

Bollywood is becoming a negative concept within India creating this ideal that fair is beautiful rather than dark coloured girls, often influencing their chances of being wed to a suitable partner, “but when it comes down to finding a bride for a beloved son, Davaluri, despite her stunning looks, would be too dark to make the cut.” (Basu 2013).

On the contrary Nollywood presents the exact opposite depiction of its cultural identity, it aims to highlight the core of its heritage through its street life culture. Okome (2007, p.3 ) recognises that “It has invested in its playful narratives of the social and cultural life of the Nigerian postcolony a nuanced essence of parody”.

Unlike Bollywood, Nollywood isn’t as widely publicised, rather enabling the majority of the population to easily access the movies through DVDS and VCDS, Okome (2007, p. 7) reiterates  “The video parlour is a simple location where members of community congregate for the sole purpose of consuming video narratives”. Nollywood would rather sustain its community spirit by enabling people from all walks of life to watch and enjoy their movies together, rather than creating a false perception of how an individual should look or act within their country of birth.

The global film industry is constantly evolving and although Bollywood and Nollywood are continuing to dominate alongside Hollywood, the Chinese film industry is slowly making its mark while remaining true to its cultural identity. Huiquin (2010, p. 323) highlights that “Confucian culture has exerted a great influence on Chinese people in many ways, on modes of thinking, behavior patterns and the national mentality.”

It is evident that the Chinese film industry can now sustain a reasonable profit without Hollywood’s help, through incorporating other nationalities such as Taiwan they are able to develop as a global industry and continue to produce films that represent their culture. Huiqun (2010, p. 326) states that “From the statistics, we can see that although Hollywood movies have a big impact on Asian countries’ markets, they do not have a monopoly. Asian countries can maintain their domestic markets and seek new opportunities.”

Evidently Hollywood and western civilisation is slowly infiltrating other cultures, although Nollywood and the Chinese film industry still remain true to their heritage it is only a matter of time until outside influences start effecting the way the countries present themselves and their ideals.

References:

Basu, M 2013, ‘White is beautiful:’ Why India needs its own Oprah Winfrey’, CNN, 26 September, viewed 24 August, <http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/25/world/asia/indian-ideal-of-beauty/&gt;.

Huiqun, L 2010, ‘Opportunities and challenges of globalization for the Chinese film industry’, Global Media and Communication, vol. 6, no.3, pp. 323-328.

Karan, K & J. Schaefer, D 2010, ‘Problematizing Chindia:Hybridity and Bollywoodization of popular Indian cinema in global film flows’, Global Media and Communication, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 309-316.

Okome, O 2007, ‘Nollywood: Spectatorship, Audience and the Sites of Consumption’, Postcolonial Text, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 3-7.

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