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Amrita Chattopadhyay plays Jesus Christ in Aneek Chaudhuri's Cactus

Director Chaudhuri believes only a woman can be the epitome of the sensitivity of Christ as portrayed in the Bible.

A still from Cactus

Roushni Sarkar

Filmmaker Aneek Chaudhuri, known for his internationally acclaimed film White, is currently shooting for his upcoming silent film Cactus. The film, featuring the character of Jesus Christ, challenges various established Western traditions.

Interestingly, Chaudhuri has cast film and television actress Amrita Chattopadhyay as Jesus Christ.

“I feel only a female can be the epitome of the sensitivity of Christ as portrayed in the Bible; normally a man cannot be seen to be so sensitive. This is one of the reasons for casting a female actor for the role.

"Also, I feel a woman is complete with both masculine and feminine attributes and the practicality to govern the world. I feel only a female can be associated to the idea of godliness,” elaborated the director.

The film also comments on the birth of Jesus Christ, his life and death, along with the depiction of The Last Supper.

The film also focuses on the character of Mother Mary. Oishani De plays Mother Mary before she gives birth to Christ and Anurupa Chakraborty depicts her after Christ dies, as in the famed creation Pieta by Michelangelo.

Chattopadhyay plays Christ from The Last Supper. “We are not featuring the 12 disciples here; rather we are trying to portray them from various pieces of glass,” stated the director.

Chaudhuri is aware of the fact that challenging Western traditions might narrow the chances of his film being shown at different international film festivals.

“It is not only about film festivals or getting awards," he said. "I also feel endowed with the responsibility to convey new concepts through cinema. I wish to express my views and perceptions on certain age-old traditions with my own vision.”

Chaudhuri also believes he had to go through many difficulties while making Cactus as it is a dark film. “My entire cast and crew did a lot of homework to get on with the project," he said. "I am happy that my team had faith in me as not all members of the project shared my thoughts. This is a very personal film, much different from White. It can be said that we have exploited freedom of expression and spilled our thoughts on the concept.”

Chaudhuri thought of naming the film Cactus as the desert plant has blemishes much like the thorny paths of life. The shooting of Cactus will be completed this month.