Now that Oscar frenzy is over, may we recommend an older picture that deserves to be remembered, watched again, and shared with the younger generation? Winner of eight Academy awards including Best Picture, Gandhi is a gripping portrayal of one of the 20th Century's civil rights leaders. Gandhi was a pioneer who promoted resistance through mass nonviolent civil disobedience or nonviolent noncooperation. He faced off with Churchill and brought down the huge British Empire, which then stretched from sea to sea. Richard Attenborough, director, had long wanted to produce this movie--and he won the best director Oscar for it as well as best picture.
As a young lawyer in South Africa, Mohandas Gandhi dealt with the brutal racism of that country and time. (So eloquently described in the novel Cry the beloved country by Alan Paton--which was also made into a movie, in 1995.) He spent 20 years there opposing discriminatory legislation against Indians.
Returning to India in 1914, Gandhi supported the Home Rule movement and became a political leader. He spent the years 1922-24 in jail for his civil disobedience campaign. 1930 was the year he led a famous 200-mile-march to the sea to collect symbolic sea salt, in defiance of the government monopoly. That year, Time magazine named him Man of the Year.At some point, his countrymen began to call him the Mahatma, which means "Great Soul."
Played by Ben Kingsley, the film Gandhi (right-hand photo) is uncannily like the original (left-hand photo)--Kingsley won the Best Actor Oscar. Candice Bergen plays the celebrated American photographer Margaret Bourke-White, who photographed Gandhi just a few hours before his assassination. Sir John Gielgud and Martin Sheen also star. The movie is well done with beautiful cinematography and is quite exciting--I found myself wanting to shout "Long live Gandhi-ji!" right along with the crowds. ~Tessa Eger
4.5 stars out of 5