Diasporic and Crossover Cinema

So, what is diaspora? The term diaspora is originally derived from the Greek word diasperien. It illustrates the shift of a selected group of people from their own country to another continent. The diasporic movement had come about for many reasons; it could be political, economical, or even social related factors (Film Reference 2016) . Sometimes, the move is not all voluntary but forced for a certain diasporic group. For instance, diaspora back then meant the exile of the Jews from Palestine (Film Reference 2016). However as time moved on, the term was often associated with slave trade and forced migration of Africans to the ‘New World’ in the sixteenth century (Film Reference 2016) . Furthermore, the term was also recognized for its use against Palestinians and Armenians who had constantly shifted due to their formations in the twentieth century. Among the few reasons people had accelerated the idea to a diasporic movement would be because of 1) globalizing economic processes, 2) labor market, 3) effects of political instability, 4) population pressures and 5) human rights violation (Film Reference 2016) .

Diasporic groups who cultivate hybridity from varies ethnics is believed to be some sort of a threat as locals perceive them as a challenge to their norms and social practices of the land. For one, their movies are observed as a combination of different groups and languages which are far from being culturally monolithic (Encyclopedia 2007) . Their culturally diversed background provides diasporic movie makers with compelling sets of narratives and styles while addressing the issues of exile, belonging  and xenophobic communities (Encyclopedia 2007). In a way, it helps diasporic groups familiarize into their new environment while giving them the confidence to increase in participation when it comes to media production (Cottle, 2000). A very good example would be Eugene Lee Yang’s efforts when it came to Asian American You Tubers case study. He had demanded only the use of Asian-American on their staff production instead of diversifying the people in the video content. Yang stated how he saw this as a perfect opportunity to represent a community which was largely ignored in other outlets.

As for crossover cinema, the term is defined by movies which are filmed through varies types of cultural representations; especially at the stage of conceptualization and production, hence manifests into a hybrid cinematic grammar (Khorana 2013) . The movie Slumdog Millionaire would be the perfect example for crossover cinema which made its debut in 2008. India is currently observed as maintaining a steady growth in crossover films as they are establishing it as a genre on its own (Gupta 2013) . Danny Boyle’s famous movie depiction ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ has the potential of being a diasporic crossover Indian film as they have collaborated using a Western director and Indian co-director. According to Khorana (2013), the movie which was shot in London and India is acknowleged as a possible first globalised film in history. Remarkable movies such as these could be perceived with a positive outlook as it signifies indifferences between culture, and places them on an even platform. Personally, I think crossover movies could be the next best thing on earth.


Photo credits to indian glitz


Encyclopedia 2007, ‘ Diasporic Cinema‘, accessed 11/11/2016,


Film Reference 2016, ‘Diasporic Cinema‘, accessed 11/11/2016,


Khorana, S 2013, ‘Crossover cinema: a conceptual and genealogical overview‘, University of Wollongong, accessed 11/11/2016,


Gupta, P 2013, ‘Crossover Films: Bridging the Divide‘, Friday Brands, accessed 11/11/2016,


Witheridge, G 2014, ‘ Going Global: “Slumdog Millionaire” A Film without Boundaries‘, accessed 11/11/2016,




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s