Is Islamicate a genre? Looking at Popular Muslim Films through the Lens of Genre

Asmita Das

Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University.ORCID ID: Email:

Volume 9, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n1.17

Received February 25, 2017; Revised April 9, 2017; Accepted April 10, 2017; Published May 7, 2017.


This essay engages with genre as a theory and how it can be used as a framework to determine whether Islamicate or the Muslim films can be called a genre by themselves, simply by their engagement with and representation of the Muslim culture or practice. This has been done drawing upon the influence of Hollywood in genre theory and arguments surrounding the feasibility / possibility of categorizing Hindi cinema in similar terms. The essay engages with films representing Muslim culture, and how they feed into the audience’s desires to be offered a window into another world (whether it is the past or the inner world behind the purdah). It will conclude by trying to ascertain whether the Islamicate films fall outside the categories of melodrama (which is the most prominent and an umbrella genre that is represented in Indian cinema) and forms a genre by itself or does the Islamicate form a sub-category within melodrama.

Keywords: genre, Muslim socials, socials, Islamicate films, Hindi cinema, melodrama