Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Christaayan, the first Hindi production about Jesus, has been presented to the public. Situated in India, it is inspired by the country's traditional culture.
The six-hour epic was produced by Satprakashan Sanchar Kendra in Indore for the Divine Verb Society and will be broadcast nation-wide as a TV series (for the trailer, click here).
Directed by Fr Geo George, the movie was shot over a seven-year period in several states, including Tamil Nadu, Goa and Kerala, with the participation of more than 200 actors, almost all amateurs.
The presentation was held at the Miriam School in Indore, a school for the mentally disabled.
According to Mgr Leo Cornelio, archbishop of Bhopal, movies like Christaayan "are a great inspiration" because "they do not look only at the Christian community, but at each member of society."
The movie presents actors dressed in saris of different colours within a context representative of the Indian tradition. What is more, 80 per cent of the actors are not Christian. For example, Ankit Sharma, who plays Jesus, is a Hindu.
For most of the actors, this is their first experience in front of the camera. They include Fr Jose Arayathel SVD, director of Mumbai's Urban Community Development Centre (UCDC), who plays Saint Andrew.
"In the movie, Jesus is concerned about the environment, defends the oppressed and gives lessons in optimism," he said.
"Being a part of the movie has renewed my commitment to mission," he explained, "because it focuses on the social, political and economic aspects that characterise the lives of the most marginalised groups of society, most notably women, youth and children."