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City of God and Renigunta: the transnational, regional and local in Brazilian and Indian cinemas

ABSTRACTThis article analyses the transnational flows of Brazilian cinema and its manifestations in regional film industries of India. Through a critical elaboration on the topographical, stylistic, figural and narrative re-articulations of the Brazilian film Cidade de Deus (City of God, Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund, 2002) in the Tamil film Renigunta (R. Panneerselvam, 2009), a theoretical deliberation of liminal spatiality is proposed. It is argued that films such as City of God and Renigunta are textual sites where contemporary transnationalism is affirmed as the coalescing of the subjective aspects of narratives, intensified by the temporally fragmented visual stylistic, and a neoliberal industrial context of film-making. This situates films like Renigunta within several in-between spaces like non-mainstream/art-house, regional/sub-regional, independent/multiplex film and locally global. Indeed, a critical reading of the transnational aesthetic expression leads to a re-evaluation of these deterministic categories, suggesting how the liminal, or intermedial, can become a force field for interrogating dominant perspectives of the cinema, in both Brazil and India. A further observation that is presented here proposes the global/local as an active nexus for an emergent new wave of Indian cinema that has shaped the momentous re-emergence of regional film-making in diverse geographies.