About the Author

John Sexton is a recent graduate of the Department of History MA program at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Having also attained a BA in Film Studies his work has focused on the intersection between film and cultural history with a focus on British and post-colonial cinema. Particularly emphasizing on Irish cinema studies he intends to pursue a P.h.D. in history. Apart from his own academic pursuits John is also committed to supporting his fellow graduate students and undergraduate students through volunteering for history graduate student academic functions and working as a teacher's assistant respectively. He hopes to continue this level of support at another institution soon.

Document Type



This article seeks to expand scholarly inquiry regarding the Alexander Romance into twentieth century India and away the Near East of Antiquity and the Europe of the Middle Ages where it is usually confined. In particular this article will discuss the Alexander Romance’s impact upon and connection with the modern invention of the cinema. Besides the usual cinematic culprit of analysis, Oliver Stone's Alexander (2004), there is another less-discussed cinematic work regarding Alexander the Great. That being Sohrab Modi's Hindustani historical epic Sikandar (1941) from British colonial India. Regarding the Macedonian conqueror and his reputation among Indian scholars such as A.K. Narain, one might expect Modi’s Alexander, portrayed by Prithviraj Kapoor, to be treated as the film’s villain. Expanding on this point, being that the film loosely coincided with the Quit India Movement one might expect the film to portray Alexander as a metaphor for the British Empire and its colonial administration. However, an analysis into the visual, narrative and thematic facets of the film reveals a surprisingly favorable portrayal of the Macedonian. One that employs him to reflect Indian political sentiments towards national independence and that simultaneously stems from the deeply rooted position Alexander has as a romanticized figure within India’s historical cultural imagination.



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