Postcolonial Film Series -- BLACK NARCISSUS, 1947

When Mar 20, 2012
from 04:00 PM to 07:00 PM
Add event to calendarvCal

The Commonwealth Center for the Humanities & Society

Postcolonial Film Series – Spring 2012

Organized by Dr. Simona Bertacco & Dr. Ann Elizabeth Willey

Students and Faculty are warmly invited

BLACK NARCISSUS, 1947, GB  (Michael Power & Emeric Pressburger) - Bertacco
“A group of British nuns—played by Deborah Kerr, Kathleen Byron, and Flora Robson—struggle to establish a convent in the Himalayas, while isolation, extreme weather, altitude, and culture clashes all conspire to drive the well-intentioned missionaries mad. A darkly grand film that won Oscars for Alfred Junge’s art direction and Jack Cardiff’s cinematography, Black Narcissus marked a new phase in the history of imperial cinema. Shot entirely in Pinewood movie studios in London – with the exception of a few scenes shot in the English countryside – Black Narcissus shows no ambition to picture India realistically. The film parodizes several clichés about India (the Indian as a child and superstitious), in particular about the Orient of spirituality. But it is the Orient that brings to the surface repressed instincts and sexuality in the European subjects. Black Narcissus filmed the crisis of the British Empire, staging India as a canvas for the projection of existential and ideological dilemmas in a sort of modernist Orientalism.” (A. Pajalich, Il bianco, il nero, il colore, 2008.)