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Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as Virtual Reality: The Orientalist and Colonial Legacies of Gunga Din

by Dr. Kaizaad Navroze Kotwal

Kaizaad Kotwal is a professor at The Ohio State University's Theatre Department. Originally from India, the author has his B.A. in Theatre, Art, and Economics and an M.A. in Theatre. His dissertation research concerned Virtual Reality and Cyber-Technologies for Theatre and Cinema. He is also an actor, director, producer, writer and designer with over 150 credits to his name.

Both Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and George Steven’s Gunga Din (the former of which owes a huge debt to), are celluloid Virtual Realities (1) which are fraught with problems of racist, orientalist imagery, reinforcing colonial notions of the “orientals” (Indians in the case of the above mentioned movies) as savage, filthy, pagan and uncivilized. It is important to revisit such films to expose them not simply as escapist, action films, but rather as films that endorse ideologies of colonialism and hegemonic notions of racial superiority.

Such films, when they delve into the realm of Virtual Reality, are forced into dealing with issues of human ethics and value systems. It is the notion of theorists like Carol Gigliotti that all aesthetic decisions and manifestations are intrinsically linked to ethical ramifications. Thus, Spielberg’s action-adventure, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is not simply an escapist piece of fiction, but rather a post-colonial misrepresentation of India, its cultures, religions and ancient traditions. As a result, modern India is subsumed by this more potent notion of the underdeveloped, sub-human and uncivilized “reality” powerfully, persuasively, and deliberately constructed by Spielberg.

A. How Orientalism and Colonialism Collaborated in Cinematic Virtual Realities

The contours of racist and orientalist ideologies from two earlier films, Gunga Din and Sergeants 3, from the 1930s and 1960s respectively, resurface in Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1986) which is a perfect example of the perpetuation of false stereotypes and other cultural and imagistic misnomers.

Interestingly, Spielberg has recently, over the last decade or so, given his Hollywood image a facelift by becoming an icon of social conscience and the voice of resetting history right. With his 1994 film Schindler’s List, Spielberg gained himself legitimacy in Hollywood as a director of social relevance and an astute and sensitive student of holocaust history. And as a Jew, his authenticity as a filmmaker of Jewish history was considered a fait accompli by his audiences and peers alike. More recently, with Saving Private Ryan (1998) and HBO’s Band of Brothers (2001) Spielberg has re-engaged the country in a soul searching about the ravages of war, World War II in particular. Most importantly he has emerged as the new champion of veterans’ rights and unadulterated patriotism. In light of these recent forays into depicting Jews and veterans more accurately and extremely sympathetically, it would be interesting to see if Spielberg would recant his ideological fallacies and iconoclastic incorrectness in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

It can be argued that, Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, George Stevens’ Gunga Din and John Sturges’ Sergeants 3 are all political films. But, they are political not because that is what they set out to be, according to the intentions of their respective filmmakers, rather they are “accidentally political” by virtue of their filmmaker’s willful misrepresentations. What is of importance is the understanding that political cinema, intentional or accidental, has entered into a new set of relationships with something that is often seen as outside the realm of film. Graham Holderness enunciates this idea when he states that, “The linking of the two terms immediately identifies a context of cultural difference, perhaps even a binary opposition: political theatre is not the same as ordinary theatre because it displays a different kind of relationship with something other than itself - ‘politics’. (2)

Although Holderness is referring to theatre, his notions can easily and logically be extrapolated to film. He goes on further to ask the question as to what politics is in relationship to the arts.

Politics is normally understood to be concerned with systems of government, the processes by means of which such systems are changed, and the nature of social participation in those changes; with relations between those systems of government, in cooperation and competition, peace and war; and with the individuals, parties and ideas which sustain, develop, defend and overthrow governments and their ideological formations by which their power is maintained. So, to identify theatre as ‘political’ is to define a certain type of drama, but also to suggest a certain habitual relationship between theatre and politics; that they are normally very different areas of experience, which happen to become, in the activity of political theatre, interconnected.” (3)

This paper is concerned, in part, with the abovementioned interconnectedness. According to Holderness, this duality of theatre and politics can manifest itself in two ways. He argues that theatre can “be ‘political’ without becoming ‘political theatre’,” i.e. a theatre which is ideologically committed. (4) That is, a play or film that merely addresses political issues or represents matters of politics is, in Holderness’s terms, “accidentally political.” He goes on to say:

politics proper is surely, however, incompatible with a detached, objective perspective: politics is about making choices, taking sides, getting things done in order to reshape the world along particular lines of development. If ‘political theatre’ is understood as theatre engaging in a different sort of relationship with politics, that process must entail theatre’s becoming partisan, splitting along the lines of party conflict, lining up with one particular group, or cause, or ideology, and offering articulate opposition to another group, or cause, or ideology. (5)

The point is, that all political drama need not be film or theatre of social protest. What Holderness also suggests is that political theatre, whether it is or isn’t “accidentally” so, takes sides, and this partisanship may span the entire spectrum of liberal to conservative politics, from colonial to post-colonial rhetoric.

Holderness claims that the concept of political theatre is “almost exclusively synonymous with left-wing theatre, socialist theatre of various types.” (6) Holderness, almost rhetorically asks, “Where is there a political theatre of the right?” (7) However, it is quite apparent that he is speaking of political theatre in the West, and even here there are exceptions such as church-related drama, and theatre celebrating American patriotism and capitalism. More importantly, in the East, in countries such as India, Japan, and others, although much of the political theatre is based in leftist or Marxist and socialistic ideals, there is a tradition of right wing theatre that has been either preceded or been a reaction to the liberal tendencies. One could argue that pro-colonial stances, as evidenced in films like Gunga Din, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Sergeants 3, could be seen as politics of the right wing. However, for the sake of this document, it is not necessarily leftist or rightist politics that are of importance per se, but a politics that reflects the spectrum of post-colonial identities.

I will mainly use Edward Said’s ideas on Orientalism and certain related theories by Gayatri Spivak and Homi Bhabha because of their relevance and usefulness to my study about the construction of Virtual Realities of theatre and film.

Said’s definition of the Orient and its relation to the Occident, particularly Europe, includes issues of the colonizer and the colonized. Moreover, Said is also interested in what happens to the colonized when the colonizer leaves. Said raises the issues of the physical absence of the colonizer while other constructs of the colonizer remain within the psyche of a nation plundered and pillaged of its economic, social, cultural, religious, political, historical bases and future potential.

The Orient is not only adjacent to Europe; it is also the place of Europe’s greatest and richest and oldest colonies, the source of its civilizations and languages, its cultural contestant, and one of its deepest and most recurring images of the Other. In addition, the Orient has helped to define Europe (or the West) as its contrasting image, idea, personality, experiences. Yet none of the Orient is merely imaginative. The Orient is an integral part of European material civilization and culture. (8)

Said then goes on to elaborate on the several meanings of Orientalism that he adumbrates upon through the course of his book. The first meaning that Said is concerned with is those academicians - philologists, anthropologists, historians, sociologists, ethnographers, and social scientists - who teach, write about or research the orient. (9) These individuals are the Orientalists and their work is the stuff that Orientalism is made of. The second meaning that Said elucidates, relegates Orientalism as “style of thought based upon an ontological and epistemological distinction between ‘the Orient’ and (most of the time) ‘the Occident.’ ” (10)

Said’s third signification of Orientalism has to do with a “corporate institution for dealing with the Orient; dealing with it by making statements about it, authorizing views of it, describing it, by teaching it, settling it, ruling over it; in short, Orientalism as a Western Style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient.” (11) It is this third meaning of Orientalism that is the most problematic and one with which I am concerned when discussing Gunga Din, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Sergeants 3.

Images of non-whites as savages have been a mainstay of the Virtual Reality of Western cultures for many generations. In order to justify slavery, blacks were portrayed as beast-like, animalistic and violent. (12) In the view of the dominant culture, such people obviously were in need of taming, even if it was by dehumanizing and violent means. Colonialism was similarly rationalized by the notion that the Europeans were merely bringing “civilization and culture” to the Asian and African continents, where people lived savage, beastly and deprived existences. All this, despite the fact that many of the earliest recorded civilizations had sprung around the Nile in Africa, the Indus River on the Indian sub-continent, and the Tigris and Euphrates in the Mesopotamian basin. In the Americas, native Indians were also “painted” (13) as sub-human, pagan, scalping and beast-like demons who had to be dealt with if the settlers were to gain any success in creating a harmonious and puritanical society, away from the religious persecution on the European continent.

These (mis)representations served to conjure up realities of the subordinate groups that fulfilled the agendas of the dominant oppressors. Film and theatre have often helped enforce and entrench this hegemonic relationship, becoming pawns in institutions like slavery, colonialism, apartheid and other ethnic cleansings and genocides. Holocaust history has often focused on the propaganda films and productions of Leni Riefenstahl for Hitler’s genocidal missions. A good case can be made that films like George Stevens’s Gunga Din and Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom are equally effective, intentionally or unintentionally, in supporting the propaganda machines of colonialism.

It is important to dissect the cinematic language of such films so that the messages and rhetoric buried therein might be revealed. T. J. Jackson Lears, a historian of the American consumer culture writes that:

By clarifying the political functions of cultural symbols, the concept of cultural hegemony can aid intellectual historians trying to understand how ideas reinforce or undermine existing social structures and social historians seeking to reconcile the apparent contradictions between the power wielded by dominant groups and the relative cultural autonomy of subordinate groups whom they victimize. (14)

An understanding of rhetoric and the use of symbols to create systems of persuasion is key to unlocking the colonial and Orientalist propaganda in the three incarnations of Gunga Din mentioned herein.

C. Post-Colonialism and Orientalism a la Steven Spielberg: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Whom?

Released in 1984, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was the second film in the Indiana Jones trilogy, the first one being Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and the final installment was titled, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom tells the story of how Indy, inadvertently stranded in India, is entreated by an entire peasant village to recover their lost Shankara Stone, stolen by Thugee occultists at a nearby palace. Indy is also asked to rescue the village's children, abducted by the Thugees. Journeying to the Thugee temple and palace compound, Indy encounters the darkest of black magic before successfully ending the Thugee oppression and freeing the child-slaves. The introduction of the sub-plot of the child-slaves, needs to be scrutinized because it plays right into Western, global paternalism. By presenting the leader of the Kali cult as a child-enslaver, the filmmakers argue that Indians are incapable of treating their children with dignity and compassion. It presents the need of a more benevolent father in the guise of colonialists, ignoring the fact that many of the precepts of colonialism gave rise to virtual slavery.

Raiders of the Lost Ark was a phenomenal, international box office success, which ensured producer George Lucas his dreams of a trilogy. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was also a blockbuster hit and has Indy riding off into the sunset during its closing frames, leaving room for other sequels/prequels in the Indiana Jones series. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy is in pursuit of the Ark of the Covenant and must prevent the Nazis from getting to it first. In The Last Crusade the object of Indy’s pursuit is none other than the Holy Grail, which is also being sought after by the Nazis. In all three Indiana Jones films, Indy chases down objects of great religious sanctity, and in all three images of Orientals are aplenty. Robert Kolker writes that in Raiders of the Lost Ark:

The most resonant political representations are the Arabs, and one must recall that the film appeared at a high point of anti-Middle East feeling in the United States, just after the Iranian hostage situation and at the beginning of the Reagan regime. Even though Indiana has an Egyptian friend and protector in the character of Sallah . . . the Arabs are seen mostly as cunning, swarming, somewhat dim-witted tools of the Nazis and victims of the hero’s physical prowess. (15)

While the Nazis are the true villains in Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade, and the Arabs are presented as Nazi accomplices and buffoons, in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the Indians take on the range of characteristics occupied by the Nazis and the Arabs. For the second installment of the series, Lucas envisioned a darker tale, dealing with "real black magic." This is like the misnomer of “historical fact” in Gunga Din. Spielberg said that Lucas

felt that he wanted this second Indiana Jones movie to contain moments of black magic, truly evil villains. You could say that the villains in the last film were evil, but they dealt in simple force. In this movie, our villains deal in black magic, torture and slavery. So they’re real bad. (16)

Lucas also wanted a quest for Indy that had less to do with possessions and more to do with actual heroism. In many ways, this doesn’t hold true in the final film. Indy is as much a gold digger here as he as in the other two installments of the trilogy. Moreover, Willie Scott, who tags along with Indy is mainly a one-dimensional Material Girl and gold digger - she is the reincarnation of Cutter from Gunga Din. In the opening action sequence in Shanghai, a fight over a very large and valuable diamond breaks out in the nightclub where Willie is performing. Indy is there to retrieve the diamond. During the course of events, the diamond gets tossed all over the dance floor, with Willie avidly chasing after it, and when a bucket of ice is toppled on the floor, she is flustered as the diamond (popularly referred to as “ice” in gangster terminology) blends in with the real ice. Thus, Lucas’ desire to create a film where Indy was less concerned with possessions is patently false and debunked in the opening scenes of the film.

Indy is entrusted with the rescue of the entire child population of an Indian village from slavery. Spielberg explained that Indy “is not just a gravedigger, as in Raiders, obsessed with the material object of his quest. In this one he saves lives. Many lives. Young lives.” (17) Ironically, while Spielberg seems to be emphasizing the saving of young lives as his plot’s raison d’etre, the extreme violence in the film would raise a debate about exactly how young an audience would be allowed to enter theatres to watch his literally heart-stopping images seeped in violence. It is also worth noting that Spielberg’s entrusting of Indy with the humanitarian mission of saving the Indian children fits squarely with what Maria Fernandez describes as “rhetoric . . . crucial for imperialist projects since it is through such rhetoric that decent people come to willingly support imperialism.” (18) Thus, Spielberg and Lucas, via the character of Indy, are fulfilling and reinforcing what Said astutely terms as the “civilizing mission” of colonialism.

Spielberg and Lucas are known to weave incredibly seductive action-adventure films, with lots of humor, enabling an audience to enthrall in seemingly pure fantasy. But, both Lucas’ and Spielberg’s career trajectories have shown us that the surface needs to be broken through in order to see the underlying ideologies and rhetoric, which are anything but accidental and innocent. Douglas Brode, in writing about Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, writes that:

In addition to drawings, Spielberg this time went a step further. Production designer Scott had built elaborate miniatures of the crusher room, quarry cavern, and mine-tunnel train. Spielberg then photographed these seventeen-inch cardboard sets, populated by half-inch cutout characters with his Nikon, studying various angles form which he could eventually photograph his live-action scenes. Four months were lavished on such meticulous preparation, even as locations were being scouted. Spielberg was also busy supervising the building of life-size sets. (19)

While Spielberg may have spent a lot of time on the perfection of each shot, the images are nonetheless inaccurate and fallible when it comes to issues of depicting the “Oriental” in all their stereotypical and racist grandeur. In recent years, Spielberg has focused a lot on the accuracy and legitimacy of the images of Jews and American war veterans that he has depicted in Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan respectively. In fact, Spielberg would never have been able to depict Jews and veterans with the same callousness and disregard with which he so nonchalantly lampooned the Indians in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It is obvious then, that within the power and prestige of Hollywood, it is not stereotypes themselves that are problematic per se, but certain groups are treated with greater historical accuracy and cultural finesse than others. Thus, the misrepresentation of Indians, over that of Jews and veterans, in the case of Spielberg’s cinematic oeuvre, is not only tolerated but also exploited for entertainment value. This imbalance of (mis)representations has to do with issues of power and economics in Hollywood - i.e. who funds and runs Hollywood.

Film scholar Robert Philip Kolker, in his book A Cinema of Loneliness, writes about Spielberg as a cinematic seducer of well-structured narratives. Kolker writes that Spielberg's films illustrate through

their glibness and polish, their ability to excite the most accessible emotions seem to force them into a position that defies serious analysis. But that very defiance produces a critical defiance in response. Spielberg is so proficient - so efficient - at structuring his narratives, controlling his mis-en-scene, and positioning the spectator within these structures, that the films all but guarantee that the viewer will surrender his or her self to them at some point during the narrative. (20)

It is this very efficient narrative structure that has made Spielberg the master of the mass audience thrillers from Jaws and E.T. to Close Encounters of the Third Kind and the Indiana Jones trilogy. Kolker’s astute analysis concludes with the statement that “power like this needs to be understood; when film so easily manipulates emotion, there is every reason to find out how and why.” (21)

In many ways, Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is an exact retelling of Gunga Din, except that one swashbuckling hero has replaced three. In fact, Indiana Jones’ nickname “Indy” suggests an independent spirit, someone who is a maverick, and someone who will go at it alone. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is filled with plenty of proof that roughly fifty years between Stevens’s and Spielberg’s film have meant little towards rectifying the misrepresentations of the “Orientals.” Just as Gunga Din opened with a man beating an oversized gong, so does Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom commence with the Paramount Studio logo of a gong being struck by an almost naked “Oriental.” Spielberg’s homage to Gunga Din is evidenced from the very first frames of the film.

In fact, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is so accurate in its repetition of the same misnomers set up in Gunga Din that one could make an argument that Spielberg and his crew did not bother to ratify the claim of “historical fact” at the start of George Stevens’s film but rather accepted it completely at face value. Spielberg’s secondary research has all the flaws and inaccuracies of the original source because he has blindly borrowed from Stevens’ “research.” Inaccurate historical and cultural images are thus perpetuated via cinematic repetition.

There are some very early indications that Spielberg’s philosophy of the Oriental is the same as Stevens’. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom opens with an opulent song and dance number at a nightclub in Shanghai in 1935, an obvious tribute on Spielberg’s part to the Busby Berkely musical spectacles of the past. The chanteneuse, Willie Scott (played by Kate Capshaw) is an American cabaret performer who sings Cole Porter tunes in Chinese and English combined. The opening credits role over the number “Anything Goes,” in many ways, an apt summation (albeit an unintended ideological faux pas) of Spielberg’s depiction of the “other.”

The opening sequences set in Shanghai in 1935, have no connection to the rest of the film in terms of plot and adventure. Instead they simply establish the heroism of Indy and his indomitable spirit that cannot be defeated, no matter what the odds. It also foreshadows Indy’s saving of the Indian slave-children when he rescues a little Chinese boy, named Shorty, Short Round in full, (played by Ke Huy Quan) while playing Superman in Shanghai.

While Gunga Din sets up its three protagonists fairly equally, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is primarily about a solo hero. However arguments could be made that Willie Scott (the singer) and Shorty (the Chinese boy) are indeed part of Indy’s gallivanting triumvirate. They adventure together, they fight the enemy together and they survive together. It is also interesting that the only female in the group has the masculine or androgynous moniker of Willie.

Once Indy, Willie and Shorty have escaped Shanghai, through an incredible sequence of near disasters, the three end up on a raft, floating down a river somewhere in Northern India, the same terrain of Gunga Din. The entire Shanghai sequence also fulfills the purpose of depicting the Chinese (and hence all “Orientals”) as gangsters. In this version of cowboys and Indians the Chinese are the out and out villains. This is particularly disturbing in that the sequences in China have no connection to the story in India, other than it introduces Indy to his two sidekicks. It is gratuitous Oriental-bashing, literally and metaphorically.

In India, the tale centers on the same Kali cult that Gunga Din misrepresented and vilified so successfully. In fact, the followers of Kali in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom are called Thuggies just as they are in Gunga Din. Indy, Shorty and Willie end up in a village much like Tantrapur in Gunga Din and the landscape is still very much like that in a Western film, with dirt roads and wind-swept desert scapes. The village is pestilence-ridden much like Thebes in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex and just as Oedipus has to solve the riddles of the Sphinx in order to rid the Thebans of their plague, so must Indy solve the mystery of the stolen Shankara stone in order to establish stability in this “primitive” Indian village. It is interesting to note that the mindset of the Western audiences has not evolved at all in the time period between Gunga Din and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Indy is ambushed by extremely impoverished villagers who are lamenting the theft of their sacred stone, the Shivalingum, a smooth, black rock that protects the village from harm. This rock is even more significant because it is one of five that the Lord Shiva himself had given to Shankara, one of his disciples. The thieves who stole the rock belong to the evil Kali cult and are being harbored in the catacombs at Pankot Palace.

The village is starving and this conceit gives Spielberg free license to portray the “third-world” in all its filthy, fly-infested, dirt-poor and ignorant glory! The holy man of the village proclaims to Indy that, “we prayed to Shiva to help us find the stone. It was Shiva who made you fall from Sky.” (22) This notion of the Indians as superstitious and pre-Enlightenment is Spielberg’s rendition of the “colored” or the “oriental” as savage and in need of salvation by the white man.

While Gunga Din took place during Victoria’s reign, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is also placed in colonial India, but much later, in the year 1935. The colonial presence in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is quite marginal and presented as very benign and not intrusive. Instead, the cult of Kali at Pankot Palace is seen as the oppressor and subliminally this justifies the need for a benign, white presence to keep the Indian factions from killing one another. In fact, this very rationale was used to the bitter end when India was demanding its independence. It was also this rationale that caused the British to partition India into three nations before departing; the three entities to emerge were Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. If the British couldn’t have India all to themselves, they were going to leave with a “divide and conquer” policy, leaving the three partitioned nations to reel from that devastation well into our present times. These strategies of divide and conquer, practiced in other colonized nations outside of India as well, meant that even though the colonizers had legally departed, the effects of colonialism lived on long after the dismantling of this brutalizing and dehumanizing system. This is exactly why I argue that the notion of the post-colonial, can never escape from its colonial roots and ramifications. As such the term post-colonial can be somewhat misleading because it suggests something “after” colonialism, as though there were a clean break and a fresh new start. Realistically, it is quite the opposite in that post-colonialism is an extension of the colonial era, and previously colonized nations have found it almost impossible to extricate the colonizer completely in their respective eras of independence.

The cult of Kali, led by Mola Ram (played by Amrish Puri) who is an almost identical reincarnation of the Guru from Gunga Din, kidnaps the children of the village and enslaves them in underground caverns, forcing them to search for the last two of the five Shankara stones. Legend, Spielberg tells us, indicates that when all five stones are found, the owner will be all-powerful.

It is important to point out that in Gunga Din the Guru was played by a white actor (Eduardo Ciannelli), essentially in “brown face,” masquerading as an Indian, whereas in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Mola Ram is played by an Indian actor (Amrish Puri), who also dons the masque of a Hollywood perception of Indian-ness. The stereotypes in both cases are similar, and while Hollywood may consider casting an Indian actor as an Indian character a great artistic advancement, the damage done by the image is unmitigated whether an Indian or a non-Indian performer delivers the offending performance.

Much like the Guru’s speech at the end of Gunga Din, in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom there is a similar proclamation against colonialism delivered by Mola Ram. Of course it is hard to see Mola Ram as a freedom fighter when throughout the film he is portrayed as a cannibalistic demon. Mola Ram proclaims to Indy who is being held captive that, “Soon the Thuggies will be all powerful . . . the British in India will be slaughtered. Then we will overrun the Muslims . . . Then the Christian God will fall down.” (23)

This preposterous introduction of Mola Ram as a freedom fighter isn’t the most blatant bastardization of the “Oriental” in this film. When Indy, Willie and Shorty arrive at Pankot Palace they are given a feast by the reigning child King, named Little Maharajah (played by Raj Singh) and the Prime Minister, Chattar Lal (played by Roshan Seth). The dinner that ensues consists of the following: (1) A large stuffed boa which is sliced open and live, baby snakes crawl out which are then swallowed live by the gleeful Indian guests at the banquet; (2) gigantic bugs cooked like crabs are sucked dry like clams and mussels in ravenous fashion by the Indians again; (3) a tomato based soup in which are floating innumerable human eyeballs; and (4) desert is “chilled monkey brains” (24) served in the decapitated heads of the monkeys brought to the table in all their furry glory. Even though there are white guests at the table we never see them eat these “delicacies.” There is no historical fact to this notion of Kali worshipers as not only non-vegetarian but also totally savage in their diet. On the contrary, Kali worshipers like most Hindus are staunch vegetarians and never ate monkeys or snakes in any form because they are revered in their polytheistic traditions. Ironically, the very stones, sacred to Shiva, that Indiana Jones is retrieving are in fact guarded by snakes (cobras) in Indian mythology. Another revered God in Hindu theology is Hanuman, the monkey God.

The scene where Indy encounters the Thuggies worshiping Kali in their cavernous, subterranean hideout, is very reminiscent of the scene when Cutter and Gunga Din run into the Guru and his devotees. Of course Spielberg one-ups Stevens and has Mola Ram actually put his fist through the rib cage of his human sacrifice. Mola Ram pulls out his still beating heart - all with the blessings of Kali whom he has invoked by savagely crying out, “Mother Kali! Mother Kali! Give me Strength! Now his heart and soul are in my fist!” (25) Later in the film, both Indy and Willie are both threatened with a possible ripping out of their hearts from their ribcages by Mola Ram, but the conventions of action-adventure films prevail and they both escape, in the nick of time, completely unscathed.

The ending of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is again identical to that in Gunga Din. A rope bridge across a huge canyon is the key to ousting the enemy and the British troops appear to defeat the Kali worshipers. The colonials have ousted the real enemy, i.e. the renegade Indians, and hence have further legitimized their staying on in India as the colonizers and saviors of the more “civilized” and “genteel” Indians.

Spielberg’s film works as a piece of post-colonial propaganda, not only because of the way in which he creates lurid “facts” out of pure fiction, but also by the power he wields as a film maker. Kolker points out that:

Spielberg’s work is obviously well crafted, technologically overdetermined, dependent upon cinematic effects, and at the same time determinedly realistic and manipulative. It brings to the fore the central problem of the illusionary form, the power of American cinema to create an unquestioning location of belief and assent. (26)

Thus, Spielberg not only reconfirms Orientalist notions in popular culture but he reinforces them as above and beyond scrutiny. The viewer becomes an accomplice to Spielberg’s racist and colonial cinematic misrepresentations by being made to feel accurate and empathic with the characters and subject matter. The viewer, consciously or unconsciously, eventually complies completely with Spielberg’s ideology. Kolker writes that:

the ideological structures of Spielberg’s films “hail” the spectator into a world of the obvious that affirms the viewer’s presence (even while dissolving it), affirms that what the viewer has always believed or hoped is (obviously) right and accessible, and assures the viewer excitement and comfort in the process. The film offers nothing new beyond their spectacle, nothing the viewer does not already want, does not immediately accept. (27)

Spielberg hides the darker aspects of his film, the ideological support of colonialism and the rhetoric of white, male patriarchies behind the glitz and glamour of spectacular action-adventure, all under the aegis of historical fiction.

One of the most subversive aspects of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, is the entrustment of Indy with the freeing of the Indian slave children from their evil Indian demagogue Mola Ram. First of all, the villagers, all of whose children have been abducted into slavery, are presented as dirty, ignorant, subservient and illiterate. They are religious fanatics, blinded by their own fundamentalist natures, who are searching for salvation by the white superior. Moreover, by having Indy save the children, Spielberg and Lucas create the illusion that their parents were incapable of rescuing their offspring from Mola Ram. Insidiously, what this communicates is that left to their own devices (after Colonialism ended) the Indians would enslave their own and would once again need rescuing by the white ones, Americans this time around. This is a reinforcement of the need for the British to stay on in India, but it also establishes America’s role as the global police, allowing the third-world to see the folly of their ways. Thus, in a post-colonial era, the Indians would suppress their own people and children only to need liberation by the Americans. In either case, this sort of rhetoric suggests that when contemplating patriarchies, the British or American ones are infinitely more desirable than the Indian ones for the Indian people themselves. Such paternalism has always been the mainstay of a variety of rhetorical positions centered on institutions like slavery, apartheid, and colonialism.

It could easily be said that in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Spielberg is “Orientalizing” on behalf of both the British and the Americans. The racism of the film is clear in both the savage portrayal of the Kali cult and the uncivilized portrayal of the rest of the Indians. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, like Gunga Din cannot simply be dismissed as escapist action-adventure, but rather should be dissected in order to expose its Orientalist and pro-colonial ideology and rhetoric. While Gunga Din certainly remains widely watched and popular, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom enjoys an even wider viewership and legacy of popular entertainment.

Spielberg was nervous about attempting his first sequel with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and he stated in the press that the last thing he ever wanted to do in his life was bore an audience. (28) Spielberg’s fears resulted in the sequel becoming the most intense film in the series, featuring, among other things, a bug chamber, a chamber-of-horrors dinner feast, and the film's centerpiece, a human heart ripped from the chest of a man who is still alive as the heinous atrocity is being committed. With its emphasis on human sacrifice and truly dark acts of evil, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, received a terrible backlash from the critics and concerned parents. In fact, the film went on to contribute a major change to film distribution: it engendered the creation of the PG-13 rating (by the MPAA -- Motion Picture Association of America), as a kind of midway point between PG, which Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom had been rated, and R, which was deemed too extreme for the film. In England, the scene where Mola Ram pulls out the still-beating heart from his human sacrifice, was excised before its release. David Denby of New York magazine wrote that Temple of Doom was

heavy-spirited and grating. The frivolous treatment of child slavery makes you slightly sick. The lurid and gloomy trash goes on and on, without a joke anywhere, and it’s not only sadistic and dumb, it’s oppressively ugly. That Spielberg should devote himself to anything so debased in imagination is unbearably depressing. (29)

Spielberg was reportedly surprised by these types of reactions. He angrily (and somewhat arrogantly) quipped that, "The picture is not called the ‘ Temple of Roses’ it is called the ‘ Temple of Doom’.” (30) Spielberg went on to argue that:

I can remember as a child at the movies my parents used to cover my eyes in the cinema when they felt I should not be exposed to what was coming out of the screen: it was usually two people kissing innocently. There are parts of this film that are too intense for younger children but this is a fantasy adventure. It is the kind of violence that does not really happen, will not really happen and cannot really be perpetuated by people leaving the cinema and performing these tricks on their friends at home. (31)

It is interesting that Spielberg’s parents found it necessary to shield his eyes from “people kissing innocently,” thus laying bare certain Puritanical tendencies in his upbringing. The suggestion that innocent kissing is worth shielding children from, as opposed to violence exposes some of the contradictions of the American culture that are well and alive in Hollywood films. In addition, in the above quote, there is a seeming contradiction in Spielberg’s notions of the “real.” If the violence is not real, are we to assume that the bastardization of the Indian culture depicted is not real as well? But nowhere does the film make any sort of internal commentary that the Indians being portrayed are a figment of Spielberg and Lucas’ imagination. In fact, Spielberg claimed that, “our villains deal in black magic, torture and slavery. So they’re real bad.” (32) Spielberg seemingly cannot decide whether his violence is real or not.

Once the new PG-13 (Parental Guidance) certificate had been implemented by Jack Valenti (President of the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America)) who was barraged by angry parents, prompted by Temple of Doom’s release, Spielberg did recant some of his naive comments about the impact of his film’s violence on children. He said that he didn’t want to see a 10-year-old granted admission to his film and that “the responsibility to the children of this country is worth any loss at the box office.” (33) While Spielberg’s concern extends only to the children of the United States, his concerns for box office receipts is more far reaching. This is evidenced when he claimed that, “I always consider the international market when I make a film.” (34)

Of course, it is incredibly telling that audiences objected to the violence (e.g. the ripping out of the heart) but weren’t even cognizant of the inaccurate and racist portrayal of the Indians. This is an interesting commentary on the way in which American (and other Western or Westernized) audiences invest their sensibilities when it comes to Virtual Realities. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was made in 1986, an era in which a similar film about African-Americans would have been booed off the screens. This raises interesting questions and concerns about hegemonic structures, which merely transpose the oppressed and misrepresented, all the time buttressing the oppressor.

Early in his career, particularly with films like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Spielberg seemed to pay little attention to historical or cultural accuracies. In talking about his film 1941, Spielberg himself admitted that, “Well, we’re taking history and bending it like a pretzel. I’ve taken this pillar of truth and shredded it into a movie that is visually madcap and quite nuts. . . Hypertension is fun!” (35) Spielberg obviously found it difficult to abandon this historically callous philosophy when he went on to make Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. And, this cinematic disregard for historical accuracy allows Spielberg to manipulate his audiences with greater efficacy in that fact and fiction are, without warning, deliberately blurred in his Virtual Realities. Robert Kolker, who has written perhaps the best critical analysis of Spielberg and his work has astutely written about the filmmaker’s ability to manipulate his audiences.

Steven Spielberg is the great fantasist of recuperation, every loving son, calling home to find out how things are and assuring the family everything will be fine. He is the great modern narrator of simple desires fulfilled, of reality diverted into the imaginary spaces of aspirations realized, where fears of abandonment and impotence are turned into fantasy spectacles of security and joyful action...security and joy is neither offered by his films nor earned from them, but rather forced upon the viewer, willing or not, by structures that demand complete assent in order to survive. His films are not so much texts to be read and understood, but machines to stimulate desire and fulfill it, to manipulate the viewer without the viewer’s awareness of what is happening. (36)

Thus, Spielberg is able to manipulate his audiences without their direct consent. It is in this regard that Spielberg fully understands the power of Virtual Realities and their ability to seduce.

Aside from the historical inaccuracies, Spielberg was also made aware of the racism and sexism in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. He eventually did admit that, “there’s not an ounce of my personal feeling in Temple of Doom,” and that “Indy Two will not go down in my pantheon as one of my prouder moments.” (37) This is a curious confession of Spielberg’s part, somehow implying that Lucas was responsible for the film, making Spielberg merely a hired hand in the process. Moreover, Lucas’ reputation for misrepresenting cultures and groups, resurfaced in 1999 with his Star Wars (Episode I): The Phantom Menace. In that blockbuster bonanza, Lucas was accused of creating a virtual “step-n-fetchit” in the character of Jar Jar Binks, who spoke like a buffoon, behaved like a Sambo and spoke in very broken English in a black, Caribbean dialect. In addition, the leaders of one of the alien groups in the film, who also serve as villains in the service of the “dark forces,” speak with Chinese accents. In the post-Cold War era of the 1990s, with the Chinese having replaced the Russians as the enemy, this depiction on Lucas’ part was bound to raise some ruckus and bring forth a reaction from critics and some audiences alike. Thus, from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom to Star Wars (Episode I): The Phantom Menace, Lucas’ proclivity towards cultural and other misrepresentations has changed little over a span of twenty years. The legacies of such Virtual Realities obviously live long and heartily in cultural artifacts and the collective public consciousness.

D. The Legacy of Orientalist and Colonial Virtual Realities Via the Language of Cinema

In making the connection between new virtual technologies and colonialism and imperialism, Maria Fernandez writes that:

As the millennium comes to an end and we witness the deployment of imperial strategies in the realm of electronic visual culture, it is of crucial importance for artists and critics to learn from post-colonial studies. As the fields of electronic media ad post-colonial studies start to overlap, an urgent task for artists, critics and theoreticians is to identify areas of common interest and/or conflict as sites for future creativity and intervention. New media can be employed to challenge old histories. (38)

Writing about British colonial efforts in India, Karl Marx said that, “ England has to fulfill a double mission in India: one destructive, the other regenerating - the annihilation of the Asiatic society, and the laying of the material foundations of Western society in Asia.” (39) This would hold true in every case of colonization. Post-colonial nations must reverse that “double mission”. That is, they too have to function within two processes, one destructive and the other regenerative. For the East, to explode the myths and realities as perpetrated by Orientalism, the material foundations of Western Society have to be questioned and altered and the Asiatic (read indigenous) societies have to emerge again from under the shadows of colonial exploitation. Thus, decolonizing, is not merely the absence of the ruling power, but rather, it is a process of a colonized people strategizing to emerge from the “system of representations framed by a whole set of forces that brought the Orient into Western learning, Western consciousness, and later, Western empire.” (40) As a result, films like the ones under scrutiny here cannot simply be dismissed as escapist pieces of cinematic action-adventure. Moreover, these films prove that the colonial agenda can be reinforced not only by nations outside of the colonizing countries, but also in times long after colonialism was “officially” and “legally” dismantled. As a case in point, Spielberg’s film is quintessentially American and yet it restates colonial notions as it emerges in 1986, exactly thirty-nine years after Indian independence.

As Said informs us, the task of the day is “to provide the contemporary scholar with insights, methods, and ideas that could dispense with racial, ideological, and imperialist stereotypes of the sort provided during its historical ascendancy by Orientalism.” (41) And here, it is imperative to understand the manipulative and image creation processes of Virtual Reality technologies, specifically film in this case.

The issue of cinematic language is one of prime importance and relevance in analyzing these films in a post-colonial era. Much of the cinema of the West which is considered “valuable” (both in the indigenous homeland as well as in the foreign markets) is written in the language of the colonizer - the same language that was used to dominate and exploit the “Orientals.” While many of these films are subtitled with indigenous languages when shown abroad, this is not always the case, and the film is often screened in English. Moreover, even if it is translated, the Orientalist and colonial images cannot be countered and negated.

James Baldwin once wrote that he felt “so bitterly anomalous that a black man should be forced to deal with the English language at all - should be forced to assault the English language in order to speak...when... the language reflected none of [his] experience.” (42) In the American context there is Ntozake Shange who has tried to develop her own syntax within English to reveal experiences that occur within spaces occupied by women of color. She writes:

i cant count the number of times i have viscerally wanted to attack deform n maim the language that i was taught to hate myself in/the language that perpetuates the notions that cause pain to every black child as he/she learns to speak of the world & the “self”.../in order to think n communicate the thoughts n feelings i want to think n communicate/i haveta fix my tool to my needs/i have to take it apart to the bone/so that the malignancies/fall away/leaving us space to literally create our own image. (43)

Both Baldwin’s and Shange’s way of thinking applies to audiences in developing nations trying to consume the post-colonial identity of themselves manufactured under the rubric of Hollywood entertainment. The psychological, economic and sociological complexities of cinematic language structures need to be scrutinized very carefully, so as to understand more holistically why the language of the colonizer is so resilient, and moreover how this hinders the emergence of a healthy post-colonial and anti-Orientalist identity. Maria Fernandez makes some astute observations about the connections between the Virtual Reality images manufactured by colonialists and the consumption of these realities by previously colonized people. She argues that:

at present one cannot disassociate the manufacture and distribution of these technologies from economic profits made in the developed world or from an ongoing process of the colonization of knowledge that began with the book and continued with media such as film and television. In the opinion of Edward Said, these technologies are crucial for the construction of identity in formerly colonized regions since colonized peoples learn about themselves through these forms of knowledge. (44)

In the Tancred, Benjamin Disraeli wrote that, “the East is a career.” This is particularly true for those who inhabit cultural, artistic, political, and educational institutions in the West. If the developing nations are to avoid being negotiators in a new fangled cultural imperialism, then their citizens have to strategize against this ideology of the East as a career.

The point is that de-Orientalizing the West is costly and difficult. Orientalist attitudes, as we have seen through an analysis of Gunga Din, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Sergeants 3, have a great inertia within the memory and collective consciousness of the West. Said tells us that, “more than anything else, the political and cultural circumstances in which Western Orientalism has flourished draw attention to the debased position of the Orient or the Oriental as an object of study.” (45) It is precisely this position of debasement that the post-colonial nation has got to fight against - to “capture it, treat it, describe it, improve it, radically alter it.” (46) However, with the power and proliferation of Hollywood across global borders, orientalist attitudes permeate even the markets of formerly colonized nations and become entrenched there as well. The first step for the East is to see its status of debasement with all the domination and exploitation that goes with it.

Thus, it is not just the Westerners who begin to see orientalist views as true, historical fact, and authoritative, but the subjects of Orientalism (the “orientals” themselves) begin to buy into this Virtual Reality about themselves. French scholar Leroy-Beaulieu wrote that:

A society colonizes itself, when itself having reached a high degree of maturity and of strength, it procreates, it protects, it places in good conditions of development, and it brings to virility a new society to which it has given birth. Colonization is one of the most complex and delicate phenomena of social physiology. (47)

While Leroy-Beaulieu is talking about the colonization of one nation by another, based on relative power, I believe that such an understanding of human exploitation is transferable to domination within peoples of the same country based on relative power issuing from class, race, gender, and religion. In fact, Leroy-Beaulieu goes on to say that:

Colonization is the expansive force of a people; it is its power of reproduction; it is its enlargement and its multiplication through space; it is the subjection of the universe or a vast part of it to that people’s language. customs, ideas, and laws. (48)

It is precisely this reproduction, enlargement, and multiplication through space that becomes possible through the popularity and global distribution of films like Gunga Din, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Sergeants 3. Beaulieu and Said would argue that this has to be curtailed and aborted by developing nations in post-colonial times. The banning of Gunga Din by India during its initial release might have been one step in that direction. However, today with the technologies of the internet, video, DVDs (Digital Video Discs) and CD-ROMs, these images are no longer as easy to keep away from and outside of certain geographic boundaries.

Said describes Orientalism’s failure in that it did not “identify with human experience” and that it “failed also to see it as human experience.” (49) The films under discussion here are excellent examples of the failure of Stevens, Spielberg and Sturges to depict Indians (Asian or American) as human in their Virtual Realities of the sub-continent. After all, there constantly exists within Orientalism the understanding that the Western scholar, artistic authority, entertainment consumer, or citizen is

entitled to own or to expend (or both) the majority of the world resources...Because he, unlike the Oriental, is a true human being......a white middle-class Westerner believes it his human prerogative not only to manage the nonwhite world but also to own it, just because by definition “it” is not quite as human as “we” are. There is no purer example than this of dehumanized thought. (50)

It is precisely this dehumanized thought system that gives birth to the “seductive degradation of knowledge” (51) as Said calls it. The charge of the post-colonial nation in the developing world is to develop a personal and a world knowledge about itself, free of such seductive degradation.

Finally, it can be said that Orientalism is itself a Virtual Reality because the knowledge it creates and perpetuates is “seductive degradation.” Couple this Virtual Reality of Orientalism with the Virtual Reality of cinema and it becomes evident that audiences are not only immersed in an entertainment medium, but are also immersed in political ideologies and rhetoric. This is an important lesson, because in current-day Virtual Reality applications, the focus is mainly on artistic and entertainment immersion, and not on its ethical ramifications .

Two general notes in conclusion. First, in discussing post-colonial studies with reference to developing nations, the colonizer is blamed for looking upon the “East” as the “other” in very general terms. A monolithic structure of the “other” is set up. Similarly, post-colonial studies sees the colonizer as a large, monolithic entity as well. Such a tendency, on the part of post-colonial scholars is detrimental to real discourse on how developing and developed nations can strategize to deal with the post-colonial genesis of developing nations all over the world. After all, Hollywood films emerging from America, particularly in the post-colonial era, are rarely seen as extensions of colonialism.

Second, it is worth noting that the term “post-colonial” is an oxymoron in that it suggests something that comes after colonialism, i.e. an entirely distinct phase. Rather, post- colonialism is merely an extension of the colonial era, and as such impacts everything that comes after it. Post-colonial studies cannot inadvertently dismiss the colonial period as simply something of the past; instead, we are forced to reckon with it as a living extension into the present and the future.

The future of cinematic Virtual Realities like Gunga Din, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Sergeants 3 is problematic and definitely in search of new definitions, constructs and identities. Post-colonialism as an area of inquiry has a large “market value” in Western scholarship. Two notes of caution. First, the “market value” of such scholarship needs to be raised in developing nations as well. That is, developing nations in post-colonial times need to capitalize on the demand of their own state of being as academic commodity. Second, and more ominously, with this great demand for post-colonialism and related “isms” of post-modernism, feminism, Marxism, etc., one has to warn against the “tokenization” of developing nations. For indeed, if cultural studies, re-edifies the constructs and praxis of Orientalism under the guise of more “sophisticated” and subversive “isms” then, cultural imperialism is inevitable. Maria Fernandez notes that, “Now more than ever it is crucial that those of us who have access to electronic technologies learn to identify the imperialist underpinnings of the electronic revolution in order to be able to contest the re-enactment in this new field of time-tested imperial strategies.” (52)


  1. It is my contention, something I have expanded on in-depth in a larger study, that theatre is one of the oldest known “Virtual Realities” known to human societies. While we have a proclivity, in the technological age, to define virtual realities as solely technologically based, I believe this to be biased and not so useful.
  2. Graham Holderness, ed., The Politics of Theatre and Drama (London: Macmillan, 1992), p. 2.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Edward Said, Orientalism (New York: Pantheon Books, 1978), pp. 1-2.
  9. Ibid, p. 2.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid , p. 3.
  12. “Ethnic Notions,” Dir. Marlon Riggs. Narrated by Esther Rolle. California Newsreel, 1987.
  13. This “painting” refers to misrepresentations of Indians as more ornamental and ostentatious than they really were; in essence a Disneyfication of the Native-American images.
  14. T. J. Jackson Lears, “The Concept of Cultural Hegemony: Problems and Possibilities,” American Historical Review, (June 1985), 90, p. 568.
  15. Robert Philip Kolker, A Cinema of Loneliness (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988) p. 237.
  16. Philip M. Taylor, Steven Spielberg: The Man, His Movies, and Their Meaning. (New York: Continuum, 1994), p. 110.
  17. Philip M. Taylor, Steven Spielberg: The Man, His Movies, and Their Meaning. (New York: Continuum, 1994), p. 108.
  18. Philip M. Taylor, Steven Spielberg: The Man, His Movies, and Their Meaning. (New York: Continuum, 1994), p. 108.
  19. Douglas Brode, The Films of Steven Spielberg (New York: Citadel Press, 1995), p. 135.
  20. Robert Philip Kolker, A Cinema of Loneliness (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), p. 237.
  21. Ibid, p. 237-238.
  22. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom . Dir. Steven Spielberg. With Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Ke Huy Quan, Amrish Puri, and Roshan Seth. Paramount Pictures and Lucas Film Ltd., 1986.
  23. Ibid .
  24. Ibid .
  25. Translated from Hindi in the film by the author. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Dir. Steven Spielberg. With Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Ke Huy Quan, Amrish Puri, and Roshan Seth. Paramount Pictures and Lucas Film Ltd., 1986.
  26. Robert Philip Kolker, A Cinema of Loneliness ( New York: Oxford University Press), p. 238.
  27. Ibid, p. 239.
  28. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (2 February 2000).
  29. Douglas Brode, The Films of Steven Spielberg (New York: Citadel Press, 1995), p. 144.
  30. Philip M. Taylor, Steven Spielberg: The Man, His Movies, and Their Meaning. (New York: Continuum, 1994), p. 108.
  31. Ibid .
  32. Philip M. Taylor, Steven Spielberg: The Man, His Movies, and Their Meaning. (New York: Continuum, 1994), p. 110.
  33. Ibid, p. 108.
  34. Ibid , p. 32.
  35. Ibid , p. 97.
  36. Ibid , p. 31.
  37. Ibid , p. 110.
  38. Maria Fernandez. “New Canons, Old Histories. Neo-colonial Strategies and Electronic Media Art,Astrolabe Online Journal, editors Carol Gigliotti and Mary Leigh Morbey,1998. (2 March 2000).
  39. Karl Marx, Surveys From Exile, ed. David Fernbach (London: Pelican Books, 1973), pp. 306-307.
  40. Edward Said, Orientalism (New York: Pantheon Books, 1978), p. 203.
  41. Ibid , p. 328.
  42. In African-English Literature: A Short Survey and Anthology of Prose and Poetry up to 1965, ed. Anne Tibble (New York: October House Inc., 1965), p. 27.
  43. Ntozake Shange, Three Pieces: Spell #7/A Photograph: Lovers in Motion/Boogie Woogie Landscape (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1981), p. xii.
  44. Maria Fernandez. “New Canons, Old Histories. Neo-colonial Strategies and Electronic Media Art,Astrolabe Online Journal, editors Carol Gigliotti and Mary Leigh Morbey,1998. (2 March 2000).
  45. Edward Said, Orientalism (New York: Pantheon Books, 1978), p. 96.
  46. Ibid , p. 95.
  47. Agnes Murphy, The Ideology of French Imperialism, 1871-1881 (Washington: Catholic University Of America Press, 1948), pp. 189, 110, 136.
  48. Ibid .
  49. Edward Said, Orientalism (New York: Pantheon Books, 1978), p. 328.
  50. Ibid , p. 108.
  51. Ibid , p. 328.
  52. Maria Fernandez. “New Canons, Old Histories. Neo-colonial Strategies and Electronic Media Art,Astrolabe Online Journal, editors Carol Gigliotti and Mary Leigh Morbey,1998. (2 March 2000).

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