Mahatma - Life of Gandhi (1968)
Mahatma - Life of Gandhi 1869-1948
This is a film which seeks to tell the life-story of Gandhi the Man and his incessant search for Truth. In this world so full of hatred and violence, this man of peace and goodwill fought all evil and injustice with Soul-Force. He stands out as a challenge giving the message of truth and non-violence, of love supreme and unbounded. He is the Mahatma - the Great Soul - the name given to him by the people of India.
Gandhi has left an indelible mark on human history. His thought is ever relevant for all those who aspire for a better and fuller life. The Gandhi National Memorial Trust has made a humble attempt to perpetuate Gandhi's memory by presenting the first complete biographical documentary film of his life which, in a large measure, reflects the history of India's struggle for freedom. Animation, live photography and old prints, have been blended to give an integrated image of his life. Some of the material is bound to be technically imperfect but it is an authentic portrayal of history. The story too is narrated in all simplicity and dignity using mostly Gandhi's own words.
Even a full-length documentary film is but an inadequate instrument for depicting Gandhi's many-splendoured life and his varied activities. Consistent with the aim of presenting a full picture, the length here was inevitable; shorter films depicting different aspects of his life will also be presented.
Many minds and many hands have laboured in making the film which took years to complete. The Trust is grateful to all who have helped this venture but most to its Honorary Director, Vithalbhai Jhaveri. This film is the result of his selfless dedication to the work and the full co-operation of the Films Division of the Government of India.
The Trust is happy to present Gandhi, who embodies the precious legacy of our land, to the world. For centuries to come, Gandhi's life will serve as a beacon to untold millions who will walk in certainty in the light that was kindled by him."
R. R. Diwakar, Chairman (in 1968), Gandhi National Memorial Trust
Chapter 01 - Early Years
1869 - 1892
Reel 1, 2 The film depicts the early phase of Gandhi's "experiments with truth". It was during this period that the foundation of his deep devotion to Ram - the Lord - was laid and he realised the beauty of the Bhagawad Gita which opened a new way of life for him. He acquainted himself with the principal religions of the world and tried to harmonise his inner and outer urges. The conviction that Truth is the substance of all morality took deep root in him and 'to return good for evil' became his guiding principle.
Script, commentary and direction by
Produced by The Gandhi National Memorial Fund in cooperation with the Films Division of the Government of India in 1968
33 reels (14 chapters), 5 hrs 10 min, black/white, English