Suvam Das

THUS SPEAK OTHERS: NATURE, POST-HUMANISM AND BENGALI CINEMA

The purpose of this paper is three-fold. First, I will examine the function of nature and the ‘pre-code’ utilization of animals in Bengali Cinema. My focus here will be primarily on specific children’s films produced during the second half of the 20th century. Second, henceforth, I will highlight certain narrative tropes and try to read the developments of practices in an attempt to express the relationship between human characters and the ecology surrounding them and, thereafter, move to more recent instances where actual animals are replaced by CGI. Any contemporary set of films dealing with nature, natural phenomenon or living entities other than human beings as their subjects should serve our purpose. Thus, third, we shall be equipped enough to address the possibilities and limitations of the post-human approach. In brief, what I wish to add here is a specific interest on the modes of animal usage in Indian Bengali Cinema, which in itself is multi-layered in a sense that it includes, among others, a parallel study of legal acts, individual praxis and an industry, and their effects on each other at different times. I shall thereby conclude the discussion with an attempt to infer a future scenario and a pragmatic speculation on how academia, as well as the artists’ fraternity of today, can influence necessary improvements under this light.

Suvam Das
© Suvam Das

Suvam Das is currently pursuing a Masters in film studies from Jadavpur University. He completed his schooling at Rahara Ramakrishna Mission and got his Bachelor’s degree from Calcutta University with Honours in English literature and language. Born and raised in a town called Sodepur near Kolkata in India, Suvam’s interests also include cinema, history, cosmology, painting and reading. His aim is to conduct thorough research in these areas of interest and practise and to find apt art forms to document his time as well as to provoke others to think.