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Gandhi Today

Premiere of Documentary on Non-violence

- by Suman Guha Mazumdar

NEW YORK - "A Force More Powerful", a feature length Documentary, which celebrates the immergence and triumph of Non-violence as a political force in the 20th century, was premiered at the Asia Society in New York on November 18th.

Beginning with Mahatma Gandhi pioneering experiments with peaceful, civil disobedience in South Africa, and Mahatma's honing of his technique in India's independence struggle, "A Force More Powerful" looks at how the Gandhian strategy was changed and adapted to the new situations in the United States struggle for desegregation in the 1960s and the battle against our apartheid in South Africa in 1980s.

The Documentary is part of a Four year project encompassing a four hour public television series to be released in 2000.

Sequels to it will survey the use of Non-violence in other parts of the world in this century, including use of civil disobedience and non-violence in Denmark against the Nazis, in Salvador and Chile against military dictators, and Myanmar against the ruling military junta. The entire series will be aired by BPS in about a years time.

Ben Kingsley, who won the Academy award for best actor for his portrayal of Gandhi in the Richard Attenborough movie, narrates the film and the television series.

The above two hour long film begins with a clip of the Old Fort Prison of Johannesburg, South Africa...It ends with the same clip of the Fort where both Gandhi and anti-apartheid bleader Nelson Mandela, also a firm believer in Gandhi's principles, had been imprisoned at different periods.

"Today, many retrospectives of the last 100 years focus on violence and upheavel",said Sharon Percy Rockefeller, President and Chief Executive Officer of WETA, Washington, adding that "A Force More Powerful" proves that the distinctive characteristic of the 20th century was non-violence, a force that truly changed the world.

- India Abroad, New York

December 3,1999.

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