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The Making of the Mahatma (1996)

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was invited to South Africa in 1893 to settle a case for a wealthy Indian settled there. He expected to return in a few months but instead got involved in the freedom movement and eventually stayed for 21 years.

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Cast

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Paul Slabolepszy ...
JC Smuts
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Warder (as Sean Michael)
Charles Pillai
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Storyline

One of two feuding Mohammedan cousins living in Britain but of Indian origin seek the assistance of an Indian Barrister to travel to Britain and settle their matter in a court of law. The Barrister travels to Britain, and finds that all Asians are treated as coolies, and their status is worse than of servants. Despite of being dressed in a suit and a tie, he is thrown out of a first class train compartment; is asked to remove his cap in a court of law; asked to ride with the driver of the coach; and even shoved out on the footpath for daring to walk close to a bureaucrat's premises; beaten, and abused with no recourse to any justice. His attempts to grieve these issues is met with strong governmental and bureauctatic disapproval and opposition. Notwithstanding this, he settles the dispute between the two cousins out of court, and sets about trying to organize the local Asians to assert their rights, and even represents some of them in Court. Then he journeys to Durban, South Africa, ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

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Resistance without violence. Confrontation without enemies. Victory without losers.

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Drama

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26 April 1996 (South Africa)  »

Also Known As:

Apprenticeship of a Mahatma  »

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User Reviews

A Story About The Mahatma's Journey...
9 February 2008 | by (Fraggle Rock) – See all my reviews

Legendary filmmaker Shyam Benegal's 'The Making of the Mahatma' portrays the younger years of Gandhi (as the title suggests). Through a compelling narrative, Benegal tells the story of Gandhi's attempts in bringing justice to Indians in South Africa. The film has a certain rawness that makes the situation, setting and people look more real. Gandhi and his wife are portrayed as a humans (rather than a saints) which is especially evident in the scenes that display the marital conflict. Unlike in Feroze Khan's 2007 film 'Gandhi My Father' where Gandhi's wife is portrayed as the ideal wife, here she is portrayed as someone who has very much struggled with her husband's devotion to the people. Rajit Kapoor gives a very sincere performance in the title role and his nuances seem to be spot on. Overall, He does a commendable job. Pallavi Joshi too makes a strong presence and delivers an admirable performance. The supporting cast is adequate but the extras are merely mechanical. Benegal makes a decent effort to avoid Indian stereotypes where the 'whites' are often seen as the bad guys. He makes a good balance in distinguishing the good from the bad without giving in to stereotype. Yet, some of the 'villain' do come across as caricatures. At some point, the pace also drags. There are a few scenes that were extremely disturbing e.g. when the warden pours the toilet water over the wounded businessman. In a nutshell, 'The Making of the Mahatma' tells the compelling story of Gandhi's journey from a young lawyer to the symbol of a nation...a journey that had its costs and demanded sacrifice.


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