A Line in the Sand: The India-Pakistan Border in the Films of J.P. Dutta

M. Athique, A. (2008) A Line in the Sand: The India-Pakistan Border in the Films of J.P. Dutta. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 31 3: 472-499. doi:10.1080/00856400802441920

Author M. Athique, A.
Title A Line in the Sand: The India-Pakistan Border in the Films of J.P. Dutta
Journal name South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0085-6401
Publication date 2008-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/00856400802441920
Open Access Status
Volume 31
Issue 3
Start page 472
End page 499
Total pages 28
Editor Copeland, I.
Place of publication UK
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Subject 200211 Postcolonial Studies
200212 Screen and Media Culture
970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
Abstract This article examines the visualisation and narrative construction of the India-Pakistan border, and human interactions across that liminal space, as depicted in two films directed by J.P. Dutta, the high-profile, multiple award-winning war film Border (1997) and his subsequent feature Refugee (2000), which was more loosely described in its publicity literature as 'a human story'. 1 Through these films, Dutta established his reputation as the leading Indian director of the 'war film', a genre marked by its relative absence in the Indian cinema prior to the 1990s. Both Border and Refugee thus constitute part of what has retrospectively been described as Dutta's 'war trilogy' (along with the more recent LOC Kargil of 2003, which focuses on the 1999 Himalayan conflict). 2 In the first two films of the set, which I will consider here, the border in question is not the Line-of-Control (LOC) that divides Kashmir, but rather the southern portion of the long border with Pakistan that runs from the southern bank of the Sutlej River across the Thar Desert to the Arabian Sea. Refugee, moreover, is not a war film in the accepted sense, and I will make the argument that it is not so much the martial posturing which constructs the thematic inter-relation of the two films considered here but rather their attempts to naturalise the abstract barrier created by the Radcliffe Line in the west.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies Publications
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Created: Thu, 02 Apr 2009, 21:57:51 EST by Angela Mason on behalf of Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies