Martin Lehnert Prize Winner 2008

Philip Hinz
Philip Hinz

The Lehnert Prize 2008 was awarded to Philipp Hinz for his Master-Thesis entitled "Shakespeare beyond the cinematic margins: An analysis of three contemporary film adaptations of Macbeth and Othello from India and Madagascar".

Abstract

In his M.A. thesis “Shakespeare beyond the cinematic margins” Philipp Hinz explores three contemporary Indian and Madagascan film adaptations of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” and “Othello” from within a postcolonial perspective. Simultaneously to an analysis of the films’ approaches of adapting the Shakespearean content matter into its respective cultural backgrounds, the study is interested in the films’ concerns with media specific questions. The first chapter examines the Madagascan film “Makibefo”, which documents the collaborative effort of the English director and a group of tribal fishermen from the southernmost tip of the island in adapting Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”. The analysis of this appropriation displays the film’s tensions between an oral culture, integrating the Scottish myth within the Madagascan history on the one hand and its ethnographic images on the other, which appear to undermine precisely such a project. In its following chapter the thesis engages with the film “Kaliyattam”, an adaptation of “Othello” from the South Indian state Kerala, which is analysed in view of the specific conventions of the Indian cinema. The study’s final chapter examines the film “Maqbool”, which places the conflicts of power in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” within the underworld of India’s economic powerhouse Mumbai and thus negotiates the close relationship between Bollywood’s film studios and the mafia.