My Beautiful Launderette- Hybrid Film Assignment

Added on - 20 Sep 2019

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NameCollege1
ContentsIntroduction................................................................................................................................3Queer Theory.............................................................................................................................4Culture, Gender and Sexuality...................................................................................................4Post Colonial Identity.................................................................................................................6Hyrid Identity.............................................................................................................................8Thatcherism and the Politicl Scenario......................................................................................10Conclusion................................................................................................................................12References................................................................................................................................132
IntroductionMy Beautiful Launderette is a 1985, HanifKuereishi British film, set in Thatcher’sBritain depicting the interaction between the Pakistani and British communities. However, itaddresses poignant issues of importance like gender identity, homosexuality, precolonialidentity, Thatcherism and queer theory among others. The movie can best be described as ahybrid film that questions the ‘black identity’ as per the pre-colonial definition, tries to bringabout the interrelation between ethnic and class differences through the main protagonist,Omar. The movie is an attempt to examine the societal construct and cultural identity inBritain under Thatcher. The two generations (Omar and his father) give a comparativeanalysis of pre-colonial and post-colonial identity of the immigrants. Stemming from theundertones of homosexuality, it also attempts to depict how the commendations pertaining tointerpellation in the South Asian queer diaspora of Britain under Thatcher are resisted. Aslabelled by Cameron Bailey, films of this kind could be referred to as ‘cinema of duty’ as ittries to tranquilize the negative portrayal of ‘Blacks’ by ‘Whites’.Through his depictions, Hanif tries to understand the hegemonic discussions related toidentity formation while focusing on alterations in the desires and sexuality within thesocietal and cultural bounds of Britain, intentionally attempting to include the politically andsocially disenfranchised section of the society, here, the marginalized South Asian diaspora.Such readings make us revisit identity as something dynamic and constantly evolving whichis difficult to bind in categories.The essay will try to address how identity-cultural, social, sexual instigateresponsibility, pre-colonial identity of the marginalized and Thatcherism and queer theory asdepicted inMy Beautiful Launderette.3
Queer theoryQueer theory is an ideology based upon the thinking of non-fixation of identities.Identities do not determine who we are! To assume that an individual can be described on thebasis of one characteristic is absurd and hence it does not make any sense to call someone a‘man’ or ‘woman’. Thus, queer theory questions the status quo and challenges the set notionsof the society. Queerness likewise challenges well known national representations andconsequently national lucidness, in the event that we consider that the country in it its plansfor citizenship, work and so on benefits. Queerness is like a diaspora space, a middle spacewhich is not bounded by a nation or even the world.[ CITATION Wil13 \l 1033 ]The movie is laying emphasis on the South Asian gay diaspora, which assumes thatSouth Asians in general are homophobic and that westerners are more tolerant of suchdeviating sexualities. So, to a south Asian queer a western refuge is like welcoming into anacceptable world. Thus, this diaspora space makes him feel comfortable in his own skin. Ascan be seen in the movie, the protagonist Omar does not feel self-hate and he is neitherconcerned about his ethnicity. He is pretty much comfortable being a British and gay. Thecharacters are seen challenging the sexual and racial identities through the relationshipbetween Johnny and Omar.Culture, Genderand SexualityKureishi, throughMy Beautiful Launderettehas attempted to challenge the prejudicesthat exist in every culture. He has used sexuality as the instrument to highlight these preconceived socio-cultural notions. The homosexual relationship between Omar and Johnnypaves way for the distinct path than conceived by their cultures, societies and families. Their4
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