“Gandhi” by Richard Attenborough

This article is also available in: Italiano

One of the most beautiful films in the history of cinema, a fundamental step if you want to know more about Gandhi and the birth of India and Pakistan


The film traces the crucial episodes in Gandhi‘s life, starting with the tragic event of January 30, 1948, when the apostle of non-violence is brutally killed with three gunshots by a young Hindu fanatic named Nathuram Godse. Gandhi Mohandas Karamchand is an Indian lawyer from Porbandar who graduated in London and left in 1893 for his apprenticeship in South Africa. Here, under the aegis of the British Empire, Indians like him are forced to endure unacceptable living conditions. To experience the absurd racial discrimination that afflicts the country is Gandhi himself, who begins to fight for the recognition of the rights of his compatriots.


In 1906 the resolute lawyer began to spread his method of struggle based on non-violent resistance. Various and non-violent demonstrations will follow in which many will participate. But precisely because of the positions taken and the role he covers, Gandhi suffers several serious attacks by the police until he is unjustly arrested and jailed.
Returning to India in 1914, he collaborated with the British during the First World War, but took sides against them after the bloody tragedy in Amritsar and began to proclaim his ideas of non-violence, gaining enormous support in much of the country and becoming the l soul of the anti-British resistance movement. Gandhi is arrested and jailed several times on charges of sedition, but nothing and no one dissuades him from his goal: the independence of India.


The film is without a shadow of a doubt the best film ever shot on the great Indian character, able to transport the viewer to India from the first scene, managing to combine profound themes with a smooth and accessible film to all.

Ben Kingsley as Gandhi

Perfect, in particular, Ben Kingsley in the role of Mahatma, an interpretation for which he won, for which he won the Oscar and for which he is still remembered today. From a cinematographic point of view it is a masterful film.

The borne of India and Pakistan

In addition to the figure of Gandhi, however, it will be very interesting to observe the process of creation of India and Pakistan, a division suffered more than ever by the great leader and, de facto, the cause of his death. It will also be because of his manifestations of love for his Pakistani brothers that Nathuram Godse, a Hindu fundamentalist, will shoot him, causing a pain that tore through the whole world and which, together with other factors, will lead to that tension still present today among the two countries.

From left: Nehru, Gandhi and Jinnah

Very interesting, from this point of view, also the figure of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, and of all that painful movement due to the Partition of India, which, still today, is a cause of pain for many families.

Gandhi, soul of the world

The real importance of the film, however, is that stated previously: to provide a simple and accessible image of Gandhi and his mission, more similar to that of a “saint” than that of a “classic” man. The greatness of the character, in fact, was not so much in the greatness of the actions, but in the purity and simplicity with which they are performed. Only thanks to such authentic purity of mind was this little Indian lawyer able to develop “non-violence”; concept coming from the past but which has definitively and forever changed our way of thinking and acting.


By applying this form of civil disobedience, the one who applies it shows the world the candor of his struggle, pushing even the most bestial human being to see reality and to be ashamed of his own actions. The simplicity of this and of gestures such as fasting, prayer and humility make it an example for the whole of humanity, transforming this film into a must for anyone who wants to begin to understand its figure.

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