About Black Narcissus

Powell and Pressburger here conjure up a Himalayan convent at Pinewood Studios, thanks to beautiful matte paintings and Jack Cardiff’s groundbreaking cinematography. A group of British nuns are attempting to set up a school in the raja’s derelict palace, but their mission is beset with challenges from outside and within. A few months after Black Narcissus was released in the UK, India declared independence.

The screening will be introduced by Dr Sharada Sugirtharajah, a specialist in postcolonial literature.

Please note: Black Narcissus includes some stereotypical depictions of Indian culture, and in two cases white English actors playing Indian characters. Although it typifies British attitudes towards ‘the colonies’ at the time, it is also thoughtful about imperial power relations. Dr Sharada Sugirtharajah will talk about this and more in her introduction.