chapter
Introduction
Pages 11

Inspired by this ‘Biblical’ movie,2 D.G. ‘Dadasaheb’ Phalke, ‘the father of Indian cinema’, made the first entirely Indian film (Raja Harischandra, 1913), in which he achieved these aims as he established India’s first filmic genre, the ‘mythological’, creating an immediate connection between religion and cinema in India which persists to this day. Filming the Gods contextualises India’s first film before examining other religious genres and then questioning notions of the secular over almost a century of cultural production in Indian cinema. These are topics that have been largely ignored by scholars in spite of their profound implications for the study of cinema and religion and beyond into other ideological areas. Filming the Gods examines the relationship between film and religion not so much as a history of religious cinema but more as a way of examining the religious imagination in India, as it has been manifested in this major form of public culture.