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Bollywood spices up Aussie filmmakingBookmark

Learning area: English, History
Year level: Year 10
Country: India
General capability: Intercultural understanding

This learning sequence explores the Bollywood sensation in general, and how it has been incorporated in films by two Australian directors.

Through analysis of two famous Bollywood films with ties to Australia, students refine their understanding of the genre's characteristics and develop an historic argument using the primary sources of two Australian films.

Engage

  1. View the two videos, Australian's dream becomes Bollywood reality and Salaam Namaste. The first describes the rise to stardom of a young Australian woman whose dream becomes Bollywood reality. The second, Salaam Namaste, previews a recent film, but also gives a quick overview of Bollywood plots. While watching both, try to answer:

    • What is Bollywood?
    • What are its main characteristics?
    • Why do you think it is so popular?
  2. As a class, brainstorm your answers to these questions. You might want to use collaborative software such as Padlet to gather your class' best thoughts.
  3. Now that you have a general idea about Bollywood, work in a group of three or six students where each person or pair reads one of the articles, Stereotypes & Exonerations, Bollywood and What is Bollywood?.
  4. Take notes on any important details that sharpen your understanding of Bollywood films. Consider using a shared writing space such as Google Docs or PrimaryPad to collate everyone's ideas. Discuss the features of Bollywood until the whole class has a shared understanding.

Explore

  1. Two Australian filmmakers, one a student and the other one of the most famous directors in the world, have been influenced by Bollywood. Working as a pair or group of four, divide and watch the trailers for Priya and The Great Gatsby below. Using your notes from the Engage activities, identify how these Australians have integrated aspects of Bollywood into their films made for mainstream audiences.

  2. Using the additional links below, your task is to synthesise information into an argument explaining how the film you studied was influenced by the Bollywood genre. Because you are only viewing trailers, you have to work with partial information as historians are often forced to do. You will have to make interpretations and support them with specific evidence from the video clips and the articles.
  3. You may present your historical argument as an extension of the collaborative document your class may have already started, an oral analysis of the videos or choose another format.

Reflect

Since the end of World War II, globalisation has brought many aspects of distant places closer to Australia. This is seen in cultural influences from abroad and changes in the Australian population due to immigration. You have just studied how two creative works were influenced by Indian culture and immigrants.

However, such influences are often dealt with differently in the real world as seen in Fact Sheet –Australian Communities: Indian Australians

  1. Read through one of the links and then reflect on one of two related questions:
    • How can I appreciate diversity and not feel threatened by it?
    • How can our nation appreciate diversity and not feel threatened by it?
  2. Write a reflective page exploring either part of the question.

It is recommended that teachers preview websites and videos to ensure they are suitable for their students before they are used in class. Content accessed via these links is not owned or controlled by Asia Education Foundation and is subject to the terms of use of the associated website.

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