Gandhi Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Who was Mohandas K. Gandhi? In 1982, after twenty years of effort, a biographical portrait was produced to try and capture the essence of the man who impacted the world with his desire for peaceful solutions to problems and adherence to a non-violent philosophy.
In 1893 this privileged Indian lawyer, educated in England, traveled by train to Pretoria on business. When white passengers complained about the presence of a person of color in their first class compartment, South African authorities threw Gandhi (played by Ben Kingsley) off the train. Unknowingly, they had awakened a sleeping giant. Outraged by this experience and fueled with his knowledge of English law, the victim of discrimination soon embarked in a battle over human rights. South Africa provided an early experiment in peaceful resistance, and gave the young man an opportunity to develop his moral views as well as improve the living conditions of the immigrant Indian community.
Upon returning to his homeland Gandhi sees poverty, racial injustice, and oppression with new eyes and is determined to be the catalyst for non-violent change. His insurmountable goals include helping Hindus and Muslims find peace with one another, destroying the ridged social cast system, and liberating India from the British Empire. Soon to be titled Mahatma (great soul), the unpretentious insightful leader teaches the need for passive, yet active and provocative resistance: rather than killing their oppressors, the people should embarrass them.
Unlike many of today’s valueless escape adventures, this grand epic (winner of eight Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Original Screenplay) engages its audience with heartening and heartbreaking historical events, while inspiring viewers to see themselves as an integral part of a greater whole. Parents will want to note these depictions include some very violent scenes (severe beatings and a massacre) that are likely too intense for youngsters.
The abundant talent and dedication of those involved in the making of Gandhi provides us with a rare work of art that reminds us there is much to learn from this incredible real life hero.Starring Ben Kingsley, Candice Bergen. Running time: 188 minutes. Theatrical release December 7, 1982. Updated May 1, 2009
Rating & Content Info
Why is Gandhi rated PG? Gandhi is rated PG by the MPAA
Overall: A- The inspiring true story of Mohandas K. Gandhi, the spiritual/political leader who led India through its tumultuous path away from the British Empire and toward a self-ruled government. With its powerful and transcending message, this film is a must see for teens and their parents. (Perhaps younger audiences should wait until they are older, as the violence it contains may be disturbing).
Violence: D Character shot with handgun. Character thrown off train. Characters severely kicked or beaten with sticks and clubs on numerous occasions (some fatally, blood shown). Large crowd of innocent people, including women and children, fired upon with rifles. Use of machine gun mentioned. Several riots break out. Detailed description of child-killing.
Sexual Content: B One conversation about frequency of married couple’s sexual activity.
Language: B- At least: 5 racial slurs. 1 moderate and 3 mild profanities. 4 terms of Deity used as expletives.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A- Men shown smoking and drinking alcohol on occasion.
Page last updated May 1, 2009
Gandhi Parents' Guide
In one part of the film, Gandhi becomes so principle-driven that he almost kicks his wife out of their home over her refusal to perform a menial task. Are there times when even worthwhile philosophies must be compromised?
Whenever I despair, I remember that the way of truth and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers, and for a time they may seem invincible, but in the end they always fail. Think of it: always. -Gandhi
Considering Gandhi lived between 1869 and 1948, do you think his words still have relevance for today?
Learn more about this incredible man at: http://www.mkgandhi.org/index.html
The most recent home video release of Gandhi movie is February 13, 2007. Here are some details…
Gandhi: 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition releases on DVD with digitally remastered audio and video, online content syndication and ninety minutes of bonus material. These extras include several featurettes: In Search of Gandhi, Reflections on Ben, Madeleine Slade: An Englishwoman Abroad, The Funeral, Shooting an Epic in India, Looking Back, Designing Gandhi, From the Director’s Chair and Ben Kingsley Talks About Gandhi. There are also four vintage newsreel shorts and a photomontage of behind-the-scenes stills. Audio tracks are available in English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround) and French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), with subtitles in English, Spanish, Korean and Portuguese.
Related home video titles:
For other movies based on the lives of notable religious/political leaders see: Seven Years in Tibet (the Dalai Lama), The Prince of Egypt (Moses), and The Greatest Story Ever Told (Jesus Christ). Another story that looks at the idea of passive resistance is Freedom Song.