This article discusses Hu Xuehua’s Prince of the Himalayas (2006) and Vishal Bhardwaj’s Haider (2014) across overlapping local, regional and (inter)national imaginaries of Tibet and Kashmir, and considers the possibilities of rendering the story and circumstances of Hamlet legible within these borderland contact zones. With their exotic backdrop of snowy mountains, rugged frontiers and majestic rivers, these two films can be seen recreating a troubling politics of appropriation at a time of renewed tensions in the Himalayan region. I argue that despite using Shakespeare’s cultural capital to depict local conditions and affirm their own political agency, Hu and Bhardwaj’s ultimate rejection of Hamlet’s revenge motif continue to challenge domestic and international viewers, particularly in their attempts to situate these films within a heterogeneous national cinema encompassing minority cultures in New Chinese Cinema and Bollywood respectively.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts
- Literature and Literary Theory
- Asian Shakespeare
- New Chinese Cinema
- Postcolonial Shakespeare