For this assignment it was required to watch one of the films chosen by the course instructor. The film that was chosen for this assignment was the 1984 critically acclaimed film: A Passage to India. The synopsis of the film is that it is about British rule over India in the 1920s. A native Indian man gets accused of molesting a British woman, and so the story follows about what ensues afterwards. It is a gripping historical look about a country’s occupation of another country, and how they treated the native populace.

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Right off the bat in the film the director does not hesitate to reveal the economic inequality occurring in India. THe British look regal and the way they throw the reception looks like something which would be seen in the ancient city of Rome during the reign of Caesars. When the camera cuts to local inhabitants they look impoverished and unhappy. The contrast between the British standard of living vs the bustle of the Indian markets is well done to support the above claim.

As the film progresses the director subtly begins to inject authentic Indian culture. The lady protagonists who arrive immediately become fascinated with the people, and their ways. They even begin to become disgusted with the lack of respect shown from the British to the Indians. When Adela goes to the caves you really get a sense that she is lost, yet utterly intrigued by the mysterious and highly spiritual culture within India. The movie continue to progress further with Adela becoming more involved with the culture and even begins developing a relationship with the Indian doctor.

The director takes this time to introduce more elements of the Indian culture through this unwarranted development. We see mosques, caves, spiritual and symbolic elements of the Indian culture. The British are always depicted as being rigid and uniform, and several times it is shown via dialogue how much the majority detest the Indians. But in the center of this is the stories male lead, Aziz. In the beginning his introduction to the film is that of him nearly being run over by a British motorcade. When he gets up to dust himself off he looks flabbergasted that they would continue to drive off; his friend who is with him does not act as surprised. Azis is highly affluent, yet to the British he is just another Indian and is not treated with equality.

In the climax of the film Aziz (the Indian doctor) is falsely accused of molestation after taking his love interest to the Marabar caves. To quickly summarize the scenario, after his arrest There is a trial, but he deemed innocent. One of the British come to his aid and take his side in his defense which shocks the court. This scenario breaks off his friendship and he eventually moves out of India altogether.

The movie uses this situation to really lay into how the British actually view the native Indians. A Passage to India is a story of occupation, tyranny, racism and a true testament to discrimination and non-acceptance. It is an old story, much like Romeo and Juliet and even Dances with Wolves. But it is relevant in that in this world we are just typically unwilling to accept things that are different, and that the dominant powers that be are aggressive in pushing their ways of life onto all cultures. The director does a brilliant job of using a realistic situation to push a near documentarian approach of depicting life in India during the 1920�s.

It is a sad story to watch, regardless of how many times this same situation has been depicted in other films and literature. It is disgusting how they viewed this ancient culture rich in heritage, traditions and spirituality. In one scene at the mosque Aziz is surprised that the British woman who enters actually removes her shoes before entering. He states that people stumble in there all the time with their shoes on. It is a sign of blatant disrespect, and is great symbolism to how the British treat these people. When Aziz is incarcerated the Indian people become outraged in protest. I feel that Aziz was used as a metaphor to how the whole culture viewed being occupied. They get to a near riotous fervor running about the city causing mayhem. Regardless of Aziz being a real person in the film, wouldn�t any country do the same if they were being occupied and having their way of life demoralized?