by Father Peter Gonsalves
MUMBAI, DEC 12, 2016: As Christmas draws near, Tej-Prasarini, Don Bosco Communications, is happy to present to the Marathi-speaking world the 'Birth of Jesus' as interpreted by Franco Zeffirelli's film Jesus of Nazareth.
To view the film, go to YouTube and type the name of the channel: Tej-Prasarini–Marathi, or click:
This channel contains 2 parts of the Birth of Jesus and 4 parts of the Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Jesus along with hymns and inspirational songs – all in the Marathi language.
Zeffirelli's interpretation of the entire life of Christ still remains one of the best films ever made. Created as a mini-television serial in 1977, it presents the birth, life, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus in 374 minutes. It features an all-star cast of famous American and European actors, including seven Academy Award winners.
The dubbing into Marathi of only two sections of the whole film, namely, the Birth and Passion of Christ, was undertaken by Tej-Prasarini in 1992 and completed in 2000. It was created and executed under the able direction of Professor Jayantkumar Tribhuvan (1942-2006) author and director of the popular radio-drama 'Katyancha Mukut' and author of numerous Marathi hymns, one of them being 'Mi kotehi kasa hi aso'.
Tribhuvan's phenomenal dedication, hard work and patience included translating the text, choosing the right words to fit lip movements, and selecting the right actors for the film characters at a time when digital technology was not yet available in India. Unfortunately, the parts dealing with the ministry of Christ have not yet been dubbed, mainly due to lack of time and resources.
Today, this high definition film on YouTube makes the life of Jesus of Nazareth available to Marathi culture like never before. It is a jewel to be treasured not only by Christians but also by all men and women who appreciate the art of making films with a message of peace, love and forgiveness for our broken world.