Gandhi premiere on November 30, 1982 in New Delhi, India. The 190 minute film was wonderfully directed by Richard Attenborough and well written by John Briley. I found this film difficult to “briefly” summarize, however I would like to share a short timeline of events through the film’s eyes.
The movie opens with a message with message from the filmmakers which explains their approach to the problem of filming the documented complexity of Mahatma Gandhi’s life. The message goes on to explain how there is no way to give each year, event and person involved in Gandhi’s lifetime its specific impact.
The opening scene in the movie is that of Gandhi’s January 30, 1948 assassination in New Delhi, India by Nathuram Godse, a man whose bow towards Gandhi was previously rejected. Surrounded by family, friends and supporters during the assassination, Gandhi softly says “Oh, God” as he is shot. He soon after falls to the ground to his death. Afterwards, the film shows a brief funeral scene with many attendees.
During the next scene viewers are taken back to 1893 in South Africa where a young lawyer by the name of Mohandas Gandhi is thrown off a train for refusing to move to the third class car even though his ticket placed him in first class. Because of this event, Gandhi sees through to start a non-violent protesting organization for the civil rights of Indians.
Gandhi is arrested several times while in South Africa as well as one scene that affected me emotionally where Gandhi is beaten by an officer with a baton for throwing the government’s passes in the fire, one by one. After this, the pass laws were changed by General Smut, much to the dismay of the Indian people. Gandhi goes on to challenge these changes by asking Hindu’s and Muslims alike to join together and do not obey these new laws; however do not turn violent toward anyone. Soon after the movie shows Gandhi in prison once again and General Smut has summoned him to his office....
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