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September 2, 2010

Bollywood Jesus

India's film industry to tackle the life of Christ. Yes, there will be singing. But no dancing.

Cecil B. Demille, Martin Scorsese, and Mel Gibson have all made movies about the life of Christ. Now Bollywood is getting in on the act.

The as-yet untitled biopic -- claimed by studio Aditya Productions as a first for the Indian film industry -- is expected to start filming soon, with versions planned in four Indian languages. Pawan Kalyan will play the lead role in the Telugu and Malayalam language versions, with an announcement expected soon on the stars of the English and Hindi adaptations.

The $30 million, 195-minute epic, to be shot in India and Israel, will release in late 2011. It will include seven songs, but no dancing -- a typical element of many Bollywood movies.

Producer Konda Krishnam Raju, speaking in Jerusalem, said, “This is the first time in the 79-year history of the Bollywood film industry that a film on Jesus Christ is being made. Our dream is finally coming true.”

Director Singeetham Srinivasa Rao said, "We are enriched, enthralled and thrilled. We are getting the necessary inspiration." He added that he hoped the film's central message would be heard by Israelis and Palestinians: "Wherever there is conflict, pain, war, we would like to take the message of peace and love."


This is propaganda funded probably by fundamentalist Christian groups from the U.S. and Europe. The most expensive budget of any Indian movie? Seems rather suspicious. Where is the funding coming from? It's well known fact that many fundamentalist Christians consider Hindus as heathens (infidels) who must be converted at all costs. The Jesus story is strangely similar to earlier Sumerian and Egyptian myths (virgin birth, savior, resurrection etc...) That can't be a coincidence...

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"This is the first time in the 79-year history of the Bollywood film industry that a film on Jesus Christ is being made."
I don't think that statement is true. When I was a boy I watched with my family an indian movie on VHS about the life of Jesus Christ. I don't remember the name of the movie but we called it Jesus of India. The movie had no English subtitles but we understood the movie as we were all familiar with the life of our Lord.

It does seem odd. There are Indian Christians, but they can't be a big enough market for versions in English, Hindi, Telegu and Malayalam. That by itself may be a first.

However, India does the largest assortment of religions of any country on Earth, so perhaps that's a factor.

I wonder also about aiming at both Israelis and Palestinians. How could the rift between Jews and Muslims be healed by this movie? What about the rift between Hindus and Muslims? How likely is it that average Israeli and Palestinians will ever see it?