‘Crossover cinema is used to encapsulate an emerging form of cinema that crosses cultural borders at the stage of conceptualization and production and hence manifests a hybrid cinematic grammar at the textual level, as well as crossing over in terms of its distribution and reception’ (Khorana, 2013)
This idea of ‘Crossover cinema’ has allowed audiences to enhance their understanding of other cultures, through the inclusion of their own cinematic culture as well as others. The representation of diaspora through mainstream media and diasporic media allows those communities to maintain links to their origin whilst increasing their connection to the industrialised worlds and enhancing their confidence in different social situations. Although various positive outcomes exist when it comes to crossover cinema, it may also have a negative impact on an audience’s perception of another culture.
Slumdog Millionaire (2008) is a prominent example of crossover cinema in Western culture. It is seen as an authentic representation of slum life in India from a Western perspective. “Slumdog Millionaire…literally crossed over to the main (nonforeign) group…The film’s cross-cultural affiliations no longer rendered it foreign, and this is an important indicator of its crossover production, content, and appeal.” (Khorana, 2013) The film’s director, Danny Boyle, is of British origin, which seemingly undermined the authenticity of the Indian life, as it contained large amounts of British influence and showed a mostly negative perspective of the Indian culture.
Essentially, whilst crossover films can have a negative impact on the way other cultures are perceived, intercultural communication and understanding can be improved through accurate representation and thus enhance the lives of diasporic communities.
Khorana. S, 2013, ‘Crossover cinema: a conceptual and genealogical overview’, University of Wollongong Research Online, viewed 3 September 16 <http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2020&context=lhapapers>