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Surviving ImagesCinema, War, and Cultural Memory in the Middle East$
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Kamran Rastegar

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199390168

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199390168.001.0001

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Colonialism, Memory, Masculinity

Colonialism, Memory, Masculinity

The Four Feathers and the Redemption of Empire

Chapter:
(p.41) 2 Colonialism, Memory, Masculinity
Source:
Surviving Images
Author(s):

Kamran Rastegar

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199390168.003.0003

This chapter focuses upon the British colonial context, beginning with an examination of the British imperial defeat at Khartoum in 1885 at the hands of Sudanese Mahdists, a defeat which the metropole termed a “traumatic” shock. A. E. W. Mason’s classic early Edwardian novel The Four Feathers (1902), offers a paradigmatic textual response to this shock, by conceiving of redemption as being won through the restoration of fraternal-military colonial masculinity. With at least seven film renditions having been produced of the work between 1915 and 2002, The Four Feathers went on to enjoy an extraordinary longevity as a vessel first for colonial propaganda and later for colonial nostalgia. This chapter examines three film adaptations of the novel (from 1929, 1939, and 2002).

Keywords:   British cinema, colonialism, British imperialism, colonial masculinity, Sudan, Khartoum, The Four Feathers

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