I was reading an essay the other day, ‘Discovering Aryan and Dravidian in British India’ by Thomas Trautmann (Historiographia Linguistica XXXI, 2004), and one of his main points is that early Orientalism in India, while an effect of British colonial power, was a collaboration between British Westerners and pandits.
Many scholars recently have begun the exploration of the production of this knowledge as a form of dialogue or a conversation, not a dialogue between equals to be sure but nevertheless one with mutual inputs and diverse outputs. […] Fewer and fewer scholars are any longer satisfied with a notion of Orientalism as a Western imposition upon the East, without the agency of those it imposes upon. (38)
It seems a shame, then, that the choice of which movies get shown in the West seems to get made unilaterally (especially in this day’n’age).
Is this a choice some authority makes, or that filmgoers make with their feet? I suspect the former, but with no good reason. (I suppose distribution probably has some effect, but I doubt it’s the primary reason.)