Another film brought to you by Planet Earth.

The video is captioned “Bollywood’s hilarious take on rugby”. The reason that some would consider it ‘hilarious’ is that rugby is not known to be a part of the Indian culture, but rather a part of the culture in places such as New Zealand, the UK, Australia and South Africa. Also, the representation that Bollywood has made of the game is, well, kind of inaccurate.

Now compare it to the trailer for the film Invictus.

Written by South African born Anthony Peckham, you may think this is a much better representation of rugby. But is this really a South African film if it is directed by American Clint Eastwood, and both of the lead actors, Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, are also American? Or is this considered a transnational film? Does this mean that Invictus’ representation of rugby is no better than that of Bollywood’s attempt?

If you are a fan of rugby, like myself, I think you’d agree that Invictus does do a bit better of a job in acting out the game of rugby, but the point I’m trying to make here is that it is it is difficult to label a movie as being purely produced by a single country – say, an Australian film. For example, Australian film producer, screen writer and director Baz Lurhmann was the co-writer and director of “The Great Gatsby”, which is a film depicting the materialistic lifestyles of people in 1920’s America. Maria Lewis has an interesting point that “When you hear the words “The Great Gatsby” you don’t necessarily think “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie: Oi, Oi Oi!””, but something that is also interesting to note is that most of the film was shot in Australia. So, one question that arises is, is this an Australian film depicting America, or an American film written and directed by Australians? If only the question was this simple to answer:

Also is the case with the 1993 film “The Piano”, which is a film set in New Zealand and written and directed by New Zealander Jane Campion. This movie won the Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film festival, but was classified as an Australian film, as the executive producer of this movie, Jan Chapman, was Australian. It is hard to grasp the fact that a movie that is representing New Zealand and was written and directed by a New Zealander could possibly be classified as Australian. I mean, if “The Castle”, a movie that is considered one of Australia’s gems, was produced by a New Zealander, would you say it was a New Zealand Film?

So what can be concluded from all of this? Well, the main thing is that it is not easy to say where a film’s home country is. I think that a vast majority, if not all films today have some sort of transnational influence, whether it be an aspect of another country’s culture, or an actor/director/producer. What it comes down to is how it is interpreted – back to the Invictus example, which in my eyes, is a South African movie because of the fact that it is telling a story of South Africa.



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