Gandhi (1982)

(On DVD, January 2002) Now this is an epic film. There’s a crowd shot early in the movie that reminds us of a time where every dot on the screen was an actual person, and not merely a few bits on a computer. Not only are the pictures spectacular, but the scope of the story is impressive as well; Gandhi follows the life of the Indian revolutionary through several decades, a campaign of independence, the creation of two countries and a near-war. (Not to mention World War 2) And yet, through it all, it never loses track of the very individual man at the middle of it all. It’s an “approved” biography, which means that there is preciously little that’s not saintly about Gandhi. (But then again, maybe he was saintly). It’s a long film, but not overly so; it moves along at a decent clip, and features -after all- a lot of material. The DVD features a mind-boggling three language tracks and subtitles in seven (!) languages, in addition to a fascinating interview with Ben Kingsley and some revealing period footage of the real Gandhi.

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