• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as preparation for a future work on Straub/Huillet's Moses und Aron and a few bits and pieces on biblical studies.

    Matt Page


    Sunday, July 19, 2020

    Shanti Sandesham - Scene Guide

    I watched the Indian Jesus film Shanti Sandesham (2004) the other day and will be reviewing it shortly. In the meantime here's a quick rundown of the scenes and the equivalent scriptures. Here's how I use citations in scene guides. Please note - the only version of this film I've been able to find does not have English subtitles, so take everything with a pinch of salt. I am however grateful to Freek Bakker's overview which helped me fill in a few gaps (though he omits some scenes from the version I saw).
    Shepherds (Luke 2:8-20)
    Wise Men (Matt 2:1-11)
    Slaughter of Innocents (Matt 2:16-18)
    Jesus' Baptism (Mark 1:1-11)
    [Extra-biblical episode - John confronts Herod]
    Temptation (Matt 4:1-11)
    Calling the 1st disciples (Mark 1:16-20)
    Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11)
    Call of Matthew (Matt 9:9-13)
    *Healing of Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52)
    Healing of the Lepers (Luke 17:11-19)
    Healing of a disabled man (Matt 9:2)
    Clearing of temple (Mark 11:15-19)
    Jewish leaders discuss Jesus #1
    Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1-42)
    Pool of Bethesda (John 5:2-16)
    Healing on the Sabbath (Mark 3:1-6)
    Jewish leaders discussion #2
    Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7)
    Calling of the 12 (Mark 3:13-19)
    Lord's Prayer (Matt 6:9-14)
    Feeding of 5000 (Mark 6:34-44)
    *Salome/Death of John (Mark 6:17-29)
    Jewish leaders discussion #3
    [Extra-biblical epsiode - Barabbas & Soldiers]
    House of Mary, Martha & Lazarus (Luke 10:38-42)
    Walking on Water (Mark 6:45-52)
    *Children come to Jesus (Mark 10:13-16)
    Exorcising a demon (Mark 9:14-29) 
    Jewish leaders discussion #4
    Woman accused of adultery (John 8:2-11)
    [Extra-biblical episode: Barabbas attempts to kill Herod]
    Who do you say I am? (Matt 16:13-21)
    *Raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-44)
    Triumphal entry (Mark 11:1-11)
    Jesus confronts the Jewish leaders (Matt 23:1-34)
    Jewish leaders discussion #5
    Magdalene anoints Jesus (Mark 14:3-9)
    Judas agrees to betray Jesus (Mark 14:10-11)
    Last Supper (Mark 14:12-31)
    Foot washing (John 13:1-8)
    Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-50)
    Jesus before Caiaphas (Mark 14:53-59)
    Peter's denial (Mark 14:66-72)
    Judas hangs self (Matt 27:3-5)
    Pilate 1st trial (Mark 15:1-5)
    Mocking (Mark 15:15-20)
    Pilate 2nd trial (Mark 15:6-15)
    [Extra-biblical episode: Barabbas reacts to his freedom]
    *Via dolorosa (Mark 15:20-22)
    Women of Jerusalem (Luke 23.27)
    [Extra-biblical episode:Veronica]
    Simon of Cyrene (Mark 15:21)
    Refuses wine (Mark 15:22-23)
    Crucifixion (Mark 15:21-41)
    Two thieves (Luke 23:39-42)
    Mary and John (John 19:26-27)
    Darkness (Mark 15:33)
    Jesus speaks from the cross
    Jesus dies (Mark 15:34-37)
    Centurion (Mark 15:39)
    Burial & Pietà (Mark 15:46b-47)
    Resurrection (Matt 28:1-4)
    Women at the tomb (Mark 16:1-8)
    Mary sees Jesus (John 20:11-17)
    Jesus appears to disciples (Luke 24:36-49)
    Thomas (John 26:29)
    Ascension (Luke 24:50-53)
    A Few Notes 
    1. As the version I watched was not in English and had no subtitles, I couldn't tell what was being discussed in the 6 or so scenes with Caiaphas and other Jewish leaders. I've not marked these down as "Extra-biblical episodes" because I suspect that they contain elements of Mark 11:18, 14:1; Luke 19:45, 20:19; 22:2; and John 7:32, 7:45; 11:45-57. There are slight variations here and I've excluded the parallel passages in Matthew as they don't add much. Needless to say this seems like a lot more conspiracy against Jesus than we find in the texts. Bakker notes that in one of these scenes "Caiaphas loudly declares his contentment with the death of John the Baptist and proposes to levy extra taxes from all who have been baptised by the prophet" (48).

    2. Similarly, it was difficult to catch how many of Jesus' seven sayings from the cross were included, however, it seems to me that all seven were included, and in the traditional order. Certainly his first words are in response to soldiers mocking; then there are the dialogues with the two men eitehr side of him, and his mother and John in front of him. The nest time he speaks is in response to the skies darkening and would seem to reflect "why have you forsaken me". This is followed by a hosrt cry and something on a sponge being held aloft. Interestingly though this seems to be the soldiers mocking him as he seems unable to actually get a drink - perhaps tying in with the moment just before the crucifixion where he refuses a drink hen it is offered to him (which is hardly ever shown). Lastly he seems to make two more statements - certainly there's a pause and slight change of mood between them, so it seems likely this is "It is accomplished" and "Into your hands I commend my spirit".

    *3. Finally, there are five songs in this film which take up a considerable part of the running time, but also cover several incidents (such as the healings of Bartimaeus, men with leprosy and a disabled man), I've used a* to indicate where these take place, but there's more detail in my review and in Freek Bakker's paper referenced below has a little more detail.

    N.B. This post was edited several times after it was originally posted to add in greater detail.

    Bakker, Freek (2007) "Shanti Sandesham, a New Jesus Film Produced in India: Indian Christology in Pictures". Exchange. 36. 41-64. 

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