Orientalism In Cinema

Orientalism refers to the Western imitation or deception of certain characteristics and aspects of the Middle East and Asia. The film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is an example of Orientalism. The film was released in 1984, and was banned as soon as it was released. In the film the main antagonist is a cult that practices inhumane rituals, such as lowering humans into a lava pit and pulling out the victims heart.

Image result for indiana jones and the temple of doom india cult

This image shows the cult underground performing inhuman rituals.

Another example of Orientalism in the film is when Indiana Jones and his companions are about to have dinner at a Palace. The course of the dinner featured a snake with little live snakes moving around the table to spiders, huge black beetles, and monkey brain soup with eyes floating.

Image result for temple of doom dinner scene real

For desert they are having frozen monkey brains

In the film of Temple Of Doom, the film inaccurately represent the lives of Indians and their beliefs. With the the use of inhumane cults capturing kids and enslaving them, bizarre food items such as money brains for desert. I personally have never noticed the negative portrayal of India’s culture because the first time I saw the film I was a little kid and only knew that Indiana Jones is like a super hero helping everyone and doing the impossible. Unfortunately this isn’t the only film that represents Orientalism because Hollywood is known for it, films like Isle of Dogs and, Dictatorship.

2 thoughts on “Orientalism In Cinema

  1. Great example, Logan — and one that connects directly to God of Small Things. The Other in the films are Hindus …

    I saw many of those Indiana Jones films in the theater when I was growing up — and remember being really into them. But wow, they do not hold up well.

    I’m pretty sure Temple of Doom wasn’t “banned” — but it was the source of a lot of controversy for sure: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_Jones_and_the_Temple_of_Doom#Controversy


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