The new Jungle Book tries to bypass racism by erasing identities altogether

Fascinating review of the new Jungle Book…

Media Diversified

by Rajeev Balasubramanyam 

George Orwell called Rudyard Kipling ‘the prophet of British imperialism… morally insensitive and aesthetically disgusting.’ And yet eighty years after Kipling’s death, Disney’s adaption of his Jungle Books (itself a remake of the 1967 original) has become a global success and the second highest grossing film of this month. Have we really progressed so little, or has director Jon Favreau succeeded in eliminating the story’s imperialist undertones?

Jungle Book originalKipling, who lived in India till the age of six then returned to Britain at sixteen, suffered from that most modern of maladies ― the identity crisis. About his return he said, ‘… my English years fell away, nor ever, I think, came back in full strength.’ Like Kipling, the feral boy, Mowgli, is never sure whether he is animal or man. His closest friends are the wolves who raise him, Bagheera, a panther, and Baloo the bear. His…

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Published by Leila from Megaphone

Writer and runs Megaphone: a writer development scheme for people of colour who want to write for children. Tweets @MegaphoneWrite and @LeilaR

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