Subject: The Lotus and The Cross
Moving Images and International Centre Goa
Presents INDIA: THE LOTUS AND THE CROSS A film by Vishnu Mathur (Duration:
92 minutes) followed by a discussion.
Date: March 11, 2005
Venu: International Centre Goa
6.30 p.m. Introduction
6.35 p.m. Screening of 'India: The Lotus and the Cross'
8.15 p.m. Panel discussion by Vishnu Mathur, Jason Fernandes and Sammit
Khandeparkar(audience participation is most welcome)
This screening is open to the public
SYNOPSIS: In this film we see the phenomenon of 'Inculturation' and how
Hindu rituals and symbols are intermingling into the practice of
Christianity in India. Today Indian Catholic priests openly admit that they
feel more comfortable saying the 'Indian Rite Mass' sitting on bare floors
in simple shawls -- and have devotional songs sung and dances to praise the
Lord, and rich sweets distributed as in Hindu temples rather than conducting
the rigid Latin-type Mass of the Vatican. That's much too Roman in the
Indian context. Then a short history of Christianity is traced, how it came
to India even before it reached Europe with the arrival of the apostle St
Thomas on Indian shores in 52AD. Finally, the highlight shifts to the
important institutional and field work of some dynamic Christian priests and
nuns - who inspired by Mother Theresa and Christ's message of peace and love
- have devoted themselves wholeheartedly to the alleviation of poverty in
the streets and diseases like AIDS afflicting so many millions on the
This also focuses on the humanitarian work of Father Seby in the field of
education and upliftment of tribal peoples. He too has developed a version
of 'Indian Rite Mass' that is suited and more appealing to simple village
folk, incorporating their songs and dances to celebrate the Eucharist.
Then we get the chance to relish Indian classical music and dance in the
work of Father Vas who has converted Bilblical stories into stage dramas.
We see the new trends in Indian Christian Art, where Jesus is an easterner?
and Mary a bejewelled Indian lady, in the astonishing wash colours of Angelo
da Fonseca and the intensity of the Goan artist, Ganesh Navelcar. Last but
not least, we hear the radical views of the Indian clergy on issues like
celibacy, conversion, freedom of the Human Will. They strongly believe that
Catholicism, as practiced by the Vatican, has to adapt and change if
necessary to the needs of people in the context of today's world.
SILVERTOUCH PRODUCTIONS LTD.
140 Brunswick Avenue Toronto Ont. M5S 2M2
Tel: 416-969-9048 Fax: 416-969-9967
A PROFILE OF VISHNU MATHUR
Vishnu Mathur has produced and directed films independently for the CBC's
Nature of Things programme for the last 20 years. And most of these films
have been shown on Discovery Channel, as Nature of Things and Discovery have
co-production arrangements. He has also worked for BBC, London, for
prestigious shows like Panorama and Disappearing World. Furthermore, he
travelled extensively around the world for the NBC network, New York, for
which he made films on political and cultural subjects. One of the best and
most entertaining being Hollywood of Asia for their Weekend show.
To his credit he has put up a body of work of significant social and
political importance to date, and to name a few-
War on Drugs - is a two-hour Special on the drug policies of four cities:
Toronto, New York, Liverpool and Amsterdam. It is the first time in North
America that the two sides of the problem has been looked at Harm-reduction
versus War on Drugs. This film was selected for an international conference
in Melbourne, Australia. Alternative Medicine - has surveyed the attitudes
of one-third of North Americans who are disillusioned by modern medicine and
seek alternatives. Skin Deep: Science of Race - deals with our
preoccupation with skin colour and facial characteristics while the
geneticists are proving that there is only one human race.
Reefer Madness II is about the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
This film has explored thoroughly the use and misuse of marijuana and
focused on several case studies. Phallacies - explores the evolutionary
history of male sexuality and deals with our modern male obsession with sex.
Secret Fears - a one-hour exploration of a number of common phobias and
anxiety disorders that people have. The Sleep Famine - deals with the sleep
deprivation which plagues our society today.
Morphine on Trial deals with doctors who fear prescribing morphine for
chronic pain patients because of it's so-called addictive qualities. A
Disease Called Pain a sequel to the above film, focusing on the new research
and pain clinics that have sprung up everywhere in the country. Firedance -
a documentary about two dance forms, Flamenco and Kathak and how they have
such similar roots. India: The Lotus and The Cross- a two hour documentary
special on Christianity's changing face in India. Indians see themselves
more as Indian Christians rather than as Roman Catholics.
Vishnu Mathur is the winner of many prestigious awards -- Gemini & Hot Docs
of Toronto, Unesco's Peace Prize, the New York Festival Award, Yorkton's
Golden Sheaf, Berlin's Golden Ear, Columbus Festival Awards.
140 Brunswick Avenue
Toronto On. M5S 2M2