Sunday, February 19, 2006

"Why Did This Happen?"

is the title of a Bollywood film that is the result of a collaboration between the Catholic Church in India and Bollywood (the Bombay based film industry in India which produces more films than any other country).It is set to be released here (how will we wait?)in July or August of this year.

Written by Fr. Dominic Emmanuel, you may wonder at the topic; The missionary efforts of St. Francis Xavier, St. Thomas the Apostle, the work of Mother Teresa?

No, you're not even close.

The subject ot this film is HIV/AIDS, single motherhood and respect for religious diversity. It made me wonder "How Could This Happen?".

Fr. Emmanuel on the film:

"The boy tests HIV positive (because of his relationships). But this is not a bleak film, it offers hope with the heroine professing her love for the hero even after the disclosure that he is HIV positive."

It reminds me of the romantic herpes II commercials you see on TV. All the time, it seems. Usually depicted are a very attractive couple, one of whom we are to presume has Herpes II. Emblazoned into our consciousness is the idea that Herpes II does not make you unattractive or unappealing, in fact quite the opposite. You may find yourself thinking by the end of the commercial, "I will date NO ONE who DOES NOT have Herpes II.". It makes me very happy to be married I can tell you.

Back to the film. Though a low budget film (reportedly $288,000) and financed by the Catholic Church, the assistance of Maharesh Bhatt, a producer and director known for his "steamy" films was sought to assist with the marketing and advertising. Fr. Emmanuel chose him so that the film, "does not become preachy but retains its place in the genre of entertainment."

Of course we know that "preachy" equals "bad" notwithstanding the commandment to "Go forth and preach to all the nations...". That was a long, long time ago and now we guard against being "preachy" in all forms. Preaching has given way to entertainment, especially enobled when it seeks to become "educational entertainment".

AIDS as victory. What a concept.

No comments: