The Tale Of Gandhi Through The Lens: An Inter-Textual Analytical Study Of Three Major Films- Gandhi, The Making Of The Mahatma, And Gandhi, My Father

C.S.H.N. Murthy, Oinam Bedajit Meitei, Dapkupar Tariang


For over half a century Gandhi has been one of the favored characters of a number of films – Nine hours to Rama (1963) to Gandhi, My Father (2007). Gandhian ethos, life and teachings are frequently represented in varied ways in different films. The portrayal of Gandhi in different films can be grouped into two broad categories: i. revolving around his life, percept and practice as one category and ii. involving his ideas, ideals and views either explicitly or implicitly. The first category of the films include three broad films—Gandhi (1982), The Making of the Mahatma (1996) and Gandhi My Father (2007) and the other category of the films include Nine Hours to Rama (1963- English), Jinnah (1998- English), Sardar (1993), Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar (2000), Hey Ram (2000), Lage Raho Munnabhai, (2006) etc.  Grounded in the theory of inter-textuality through moving image method, the present study is a comparative analysis of examining the portrayal of Gandhi among the first category of three films ---Gandhi (1982- English) by Richard Attenborough, The Making of the Mahatma (1996) by Shyam Benegal and Gandhi, My Father (2007) by Feroz Abbas Khan with crisscross critiquing of the portrayal of Gandhi in the second category of films. Using Bingham’s (2010) discursive analysis on biopic films, the study seeks to show how Gandhi is perceived and depicted through the lenses of these three eminent directors vis-à-vis others from the point of intertextuality both ideologically and politically. Further the study would elaborate how different personal and social events in Gandhi’s life are weaved together by these directors to bring out the character of Bapu or Mahatma from Gandhi. For all the above critique, Gandhi’s autobiography-The Story of My Experiments with Truth-has been taken as a base referent


Comparative analysis, Inter-textuality, Gandhian Ethos, Portrayal, crisscross critiquing, Mahatma, etc.

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