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The Nature of Religious Film and Faith and Cultural Conflict in the Film Daya Sagar - Essay Example

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The writer of this essay states that Daya Sagar is a film owned by Dayspring Enterprises India. It is produced and directed by Vijaya Chandar and was shot onsite in India in the 1970s with a cast made entirely of Indian actors and actresses…
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The Nature of Religious Film and Faith and Cultural Conflict in the Film Daya Sagar
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Download file to see previous pages The Nature of Religious Film
James Wall (1971), the editor of The Christian Advocate wrote a classic volume of film interpretation that begins with a consideration of censorship of such themes as sexuality in modern cinema and moves toward an aesthetic consideration of the filmmaker’s responsibility when presenting a film as a religious work.  In the book, he argues that it is only natural for people-oriented toward religion to move beyond a secular concern for assessing film according to religious values to developing standards that can direct the production of film that serves the purposes of religion in a more proactive manner.  After all, he writes, concerning Christianity specifically, the need to communicate religious messages is felt like a requirement of the faith by adherents of religion, and the film is a particularly good medium to use to communicate with the masses (p. 18). Once we consider the fact that, according to Christian doctrine,  “all realms” are to be used for the Glory of God, it is no longer controversial to consider the possibility that film, which is sometimes thought to deal mostly with serious secular topics such as drugs and sex, can be used to represent religion as well.  In many ways, in fact, appropriating film as a religious tool is similar to the practice of putting Christian-themed lyrics to popular songs in bygone eras, including some tunes that may have been heard more likely in a saloon rather than a bar. It is using an evocative medium to tell a compelling message and doing so in a way that appeals to the masses.

One of the main reasons that film is useful as a religious tool is that it is a powerful medium for evoking emotions and provoking thought.  Johnston (2000) gives a very useful example of such power.  He describes a screening that was conducted by a filmmaker who had made a film about a fallen Catholic priest who is brought back to his faith through the intervention of a mysterious woman who seems to have miraculous powers.  Following the screening, the producers sat and talked with the audience to get their take on what they had just seen. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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