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American Cinema in the Shadow of 9/11$
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Terence McSweeney

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474413817

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474413817.001.0001

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Refracting Fundamentalism in Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012)

Refracting Fundamentalism in Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012)

(p.109) Chapter 5 Refracting Fundamentalism in Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012)
American Cinema in the Shadow of 9/11

Ana Cristina Mendes

Karen Bennett

Edinburgh University Press

In Chapter Five Mendes and Bennett argue that while Mira Nair's 2012 adaptation of Mohsin Hamid's 2007 award winning novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist also places the experience of a Muslim, Changez Khan (Riz Ahmed), at the centre of the narrative, this is problematicised by the compromises of adapting the complicated and morally ambiguous source on which it is based for the demands of the mainstream market. Mendes and Bennett concede that The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a rare example of an American film which breaks free of the America-centric view of the 'War on Terror' and in doing so destabilises the habitual privileging of American subjectivity and authority, but adhering to many of the tropes of the thriller genre results in a film in which much of the moral relativity of Hamsin's novel becomes lost in translation.

Keywords:   War on Terror, Hollywood film, adaptation, 9/11

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