Orientalism in the Orient

Although Lunana takes place in the “Orient” the ideas of orientalism can still be seen throughout the movie. The idea of orientalism is the western lens on the Middle/far east and the way that the people live and think. Long story short it is racism towards people of the orient meant to fit a western perspective. Prime western examples of orientalism are movies like Aladdin, where the “bad guys” are portrayed as large dark men with big noses and mean faces. While this isn’t as extreme in Lunana we can see the main character, a boy obsessed with his phone and modern music move to a little town with no internet and little electricity. He is originally unhappy and wishes to leave, not wanting to teach and seeming at a loss without his technology. As he lives in Lunana he becomes “Enlightened” by the wise secluded mountain people and is educated by those who live with less. While it is hard to truly argue that Lunana is a truly Orientalist movie as it was created in the “Orient” it seems to have been influenced by many stories that stem from an orientalist perspective and come from the Western World.

One thought on “Orientalism in the Orient

  1. LucaL

    Interesting take. I also think that this could be flipped, as Ugyen was the one teaching the children, and he had the new technology (the phones, the new school materials). I think that both parties teach the other something.


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