Blood Splattered Bengal: The Spectacular Spurting Blood of the Bangladeshi Cinema

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The contemporary Bangladeshi cinema is stained red by the enthusiastic use of fake blood that erupts from bodies pictured in fist fights, gun battles and sword attacks. In this article, I draw on my ethnographic fieldwork in the Bangladesh film industry to illustrate the spurting of fake blood in two popular film genres: mainstream action cinema and straight-to-VCD rural crime stories (kiccha pala VCDs). I suggest that the affective intensity ascribed to blood by film insiders points to the capacity of blood to lend force to the protean and submerged discourses of contemporary Bangladesh presented in these blood-splattered genres. These film forms make use of the excessive and abject quality inherent in this bodily tissue as well as interacting with more regimented and metaphoric uses of blood in the political aesthetics of contemporary Bangladesh that they recycle and pervert.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-229
JournalContemporary South Asia
Issue number3
Early online date9 Sep 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • fake blood
  • action cinema
  • Bangladesh
  • political aesthetics
  • kiccha pala VCDs


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