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Christian parallels in Bollywood films

The world’s most prolific film output comes from ‘Bollywood‘ – the complex of studios based mainly in the Bombay (Mumbai) area. Indians love films and Bollywood feeds the demand with some 800 new films each year. Streets and skylines are dominated by huge hoardings advertising the latest films, many of them painted by hand.

If you only know Indian cinema from the wonderful sensitive black-and-white films of Satyajit Ray, Bollywood is a different genre: “bigger, funnier, more heart-rending, with more singing, more dancing, more lighting, more loving (apart from, of course, any kissing) than you have ever seen or will ever see again. And that’s just the trailer.” (The Times) All-time great Sholay typifies the style: James Bond meets Sound of Music. Watch a trailer introduction to the Bollywood experience:

There is a vast range of secular pages about Bollywood.

Here is a wonderful opportunity to build evangelistic websites around the storylines of Bollywood films, in the same way as Movie Glimpse and Hollywood Jesus. Yet almost no one is using this strategy.

An evangelistic print publication made a film issue recently, using the testimony of a famous Indian film singer (in Indian film, the actors don’t sing their own songs, and the ‘film singers’ as as famous as the actors) and focusing on two films: one was Sholay, from which we extracted some redemptive parallels.

If you like film, understand and love the Indian culture, and can present the Gospel in culturally-appropriate terms to those of a mainly Hindu background, here is a God-given strategy to touch the rapidly-growing numbers of online Indians, both in India itself and around the world.

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