Saturday, February 17, 2007

gandhi

i decided to watch a movie on HBO on Demand (only reason why we have HBO is because mark got digital cable along with phone & internet), since i hadn't watched one in a few weeks. i was scrolling through all the available movies, and Gandhi was on the list. Since it was set to expire tomorrow, i thought i'd give it a shot. I knew it was the Best Picture winner for 1982 (or would that be 1983?), and that ben kingsley was in it, but not much else.

i am in awe. if this movie was anything like an accurate rendering of his life, mahatma gandhi was the most forgiving, unimaginably compassionate man on earth. i was outraged at the Indians' treatment in South Africa (well, any one of "color" for that matter!), and his way of resolving it. what i hadn't known was that at the end of his life, he had been planning a trip to pakistan, with the hopes of making peace between hindus and muslims. one scene sticks out in my mind, toward the end of the movie. he is leaving the compound (asrah?) to go meet with the muslim leader who had helped the rest of the indian leaders fight for independence, because of the whole india/pakistani split. the young men had been chanting "death to muslims!" as he left, someone begged him not to go. his response: "I am muslim. I am hindu. I am Sikh. I am jew. I am India." wow. he wanted a united india.

i also did not know he was a contemporary of nehru. now i know where the beatles got their clothes, lol.

and, of course, the one thing that you KNOW i noticed: the spinning. gandhi spun cotton. (who would spin wool in india, to be realistic!). he wore his own homespun. he used a charkha (the book type). he also used some other thing that almost looked like a walking wheel, except they used it sitting down, and the wheel was turned by a crank. there was one scene where he drove by, and there were dozens of women sitting by the side of the road cheering him on, spinning on those wheels.

as the movie ended, i sat there with my mouth open.

just wish it hadn't taken me 25 years to decide to see it.

3 comments:

Anne said...

It is an absolutely brilliant film. There was also a good article in Spin Off maybe 3 years ago now? on spinning khaki/cotton, and India's hand-spinning industry.

Maryellen said...

Gandi was a great movie. Imagine all the world leaders spinning every day. perhaps if they did it before declaring war we would be more peaceful. I made two pairs of mittns out of Bette Davis. What a great hunk of yarn. I hurt my back and was taking pain pills that made me sleep so I just held onto the skien like a securtiy blanket. I thought that was strange so I decided to make mittens. They are just the cats pajamas!

Snarled Yarns said...

I hear that post loud and clear. I just watched it myself for the first time late last year. I think any one thinking of a rash action should sit down and spin for an hour or two. If they still want to do it afterwards....maybe they should spin some more!
That's one of the things that keep me married.