Richard Attenborough's 'Gandhi'

Francis Robinson on an epic film of the life of the Indian politician, released in December 1982.

'Mahatma Gandhi', declared Lord Mountbatten, 'will go down in history on a par with Buddha and Jesus Christ.' History has yet to have time to make judgement, but there is no doubt that this frail Indian, born in Gujarat in 1869 and assassinated in DeIhi in 1948, was a remarkable human being. His leadership of the greatest of the colonial nationalist movements gave it a unique moral quality and made Indians proud of being Indian. His example demonstrates how the weak might resist non-violently and prevail over oppression, injustice and violence. Twenty years ago, after reading a biography of Gandhi, Richard Attenborough determined to make a film of his life. The outcome, an epic which takes over three hours to run and in which over one million Indians are said to have taken part, was released in December.

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