‘Christayan’ a Hindi Film on Jesus
By Varghese Alangadan Indore:
A six-hour-long film on Jesus in Hindi, directed by a Catholic priest, was released on Dec. 2 after he worked seven years on it with a team of some 200 amateur actors and technical staff.
Divine Word Father Geo George's unique movie with the name ‘Christayan’ (the journey of Christ)
was released in Indore.
Most part of the film was made in Madhya Pradesh but the team of actors had to visit 10 states including the northeastern part of India.
The team of over 200 people included scientists, professors, doctors, teachers, social activists, farmers, atheists, students, media persons, priests and religious sisters.
Ankit Sharma, a Hindu young man, acted as Jesus. Over 80 percent of the artists were "friends of Jesus" from other religions.
‘Christayan’ has an eastern flavor with Indian socio-cultural backgrounds and aesthetics interwoven with various genres of Indian music, rendered by some of the best singers and musicians of time.
Father George wrote the script, lyrics and also supervised the make up and costumes.
The priest had been a grass root level missionary in the interior villages of the state.
“Jesus, the living and loving God, is present with us and within us. So we need to experience Him amidst us as Indians,” he said. This faith in the Universal Christ is filmed with sociocultural worldview, he added.
The priest said his concept of making the film in an Asian context originated when he was a student of theology and came to know the meaning of ‘incarnation’.
His desire to know about what was happening to religions world over, the schisms, heresies, fatwas, excommunications, extremism and killing in the name of faith only intensified his passion to make the movie, he said.
He said that he has not made a film to increase the sentimental piety to Jesus and make him an object of worship.
“I have presented Jesus as a prophet committed to empower women and give them a dignified place in the society,” he said.
Jesus is presented as a person who is concerned about environment, defending the oppressed, teaching lessons of optimism and positive attitude, he added.
Inculturation is best expressed in the film by the celebration of festival of light. Bhagwat Gita and Vedas also find honorable presentation in the movie.
Neetu Joshi, a Hindu educationist, said the film should have happened fifty years ago. “It will remove misconceptions against Christ and Christianity,” she added.