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Short plot summary

The life story of Mahatma Gandhi (Ben Kingsley).

Story begins in South Africa in 1893, where Gandhi is kicked off a train for traveling in first class when blacks are only allowed in third. This encourages him, over many years, to lead dissension in South Africa where he leads civil disobedience, burning hated passes (id).

Bombey, India 1915: Gandhi returns as hero. He tours the country and is upset by the injustices he sees. He is persuaded to campaign for Home Rule against the occupying British Empire.

He is arrested for disturbing the peace, but by using his method of peaceful non cooperation, and being loved by the population, undermines the British authorities.

A massacre, where British troops fired into the crowd killing 1516 and injuring about as many including children, was a turning point. Gandhi leads a march across the country to the Sea, where he makes salt without a license (as British law requires). He is not arrested.

Please tell me the ending

Gandhi fasts as a sign to his people to not use force, but on negotiating a British withdrawal of India, then faces problems between Hindus and Muslims.

Muslim Pakistan is born, but there is much resentment with the Hindus.

Gandhi fasts again when Muslims and Hindus refuse to stop fighting. They agree a truce and Gandhi recovers some strength after the fast. However an extremist, whom Gandhi had earlier criticized, assassinates him.

What our panel of critics thought
"I love the idea of a general strike. If there is another one soon, count me in!"
Dr Bravisimo-Encore II Movie Review

Now, I am old enough to remember the Oscar acceptance speeches that Richard Attenborough gave for this movie and I feel myself dropping off to sleep even now. However, this is an important movie to make, albeit a little documentarified.

Still, a brave man to attempt such a movie and a reasonable stab at the subject matter to boot. The production is suitably sumptuous, and the funeral utterly breathtaking.

Quotable Quotes (real)

Quote attributed to Albert Einstein, in a documentary in the movie about Gandhi, at his funeral:

"Generations to come will scarcely believe that such a one as this, ever in flesh and blood, walked upon this earth."

Other comments

A movie to watch to see an important period of Indian, Pakistani history: the end of the British Empire, of which this area was its 'jewel'. The crowd scenes have been painstakingly shot.

It won loads of Oscars, deservingly, but somehow the movie doesn't find Gandhi's heart and soul...

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