Bollywood, capturing the imagination of Indians since 1913, has more recently aroused western curiosity. Some may be surprised to learn of Bollywood’s origin in religious film. Little reliable literature is available on the connection between Indian cinema and religion, and writing is scarce on the mythological genre that dominated early Indian film production. This book describes silent and Hindi mythologicals, and explores the reasons for the genre’s virtual disappearance in the 1960s. Dedicated to retelling India’s complex epic tales and ancient Hindu myths, and steeped in Indian philosophy and religion, the mythological genre was a powerhouse of cultural expression. The genre’s modern day failure, prior to its partial re- emergence as a television success in the 1980s,suggests manifold and interrelated political,religious and filmic reasons,typical of the richness of Indian artistic development. This book should appeal not only to those interested in film,and fans of Bollywood, but will provide scholars of India and eastern religion with insights into the powerful interaction between religious texts and popular culture.