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Film and Orientalism

In: Film and Music

Submitted By mundokhan
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Film Final Evaluation Essay
By Armando Khan

Orientalism is something that has shaped the world. It has created the way we see culture. More than that it has placed culture in boxes and has probably led to the awareness of culture. By saying this I mean that the only reason we hold culture in such importance is because of difference. And that difference is caused by the wonder of orientalism. Orientalism is the portrayal off something mostly in a cultural context, in order to show a difference as well as to display something exotic. It overlooks similarities and is used to attract. This attraction comes from the exoticness for we are always attracted to something that seems distant from the mundaneness of our existences. With that being said, what also contributes to the attractiveness of orientalism is that orientalism can be seen by many as an escape. A place where taboos do not exist and one can break free of the shackles of society. Orientalism seemed to be most striking when depicted visually. Whether it be the nubile young boy on the cover of a book. Or a nude Chinese women on a placard , it was a subject of visual intrigue and something ,many in the west could not resist. This is probably why it was used in film which is what I shall get into later. Orientalism first came about with depictions of Arabic and Islamic regions. It became the norm as how this particular culture was to be viewed. This however overlooked the fact that there might have been styles that were incredibly similar to European styles. Naturally, this was not depicted as nobody wanted to know about a part of a new culture that was exactly the same as ours. That would be boring and not garner as much intrigue. So paintings of strange men with turbans and long beards with endless harems were used and as a result people saw these and perceptions were created. One of these perceptions were…...

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