Author: Tato Bezhitashvili
Political Analysis of Movie
January 8, 2021
1) A brief synopsis;
2) 8 dialogues/quotations from the movie;
3) Analyzing the episodes within IR theories;
4) My alternative synopsis.
Introduction: What is the movie about?
• “Gandhi” is a British-Indian biographical drama directed by Richard Attenborough in 1982.
• The movie presents key events in the life of Mahatma Gandhi (played by Ben Kingsley), the beloved Indian leader who stood
against British rule over his country.
The film consists of a variety of IR concepts, including
- Principles of justice, morality and ethics;
- Tyranny, audience and system, hierarchy;
- Asymmetrical war;
- Empire vs Multitude;
- Idealist principles of love, peace, goodness, honesty, and truth;
- Neo-Marxist critique against capitalists' actions;
- Nonviolent resistance;
- Anarchy, Chaos, the lack of order.
"- In the words of General George C. Marshall, the
American Secretary of State: 'Mahatma Gandhi has become
the spokesman for the conscience of all mankind. He was a
man who made humility and simple truth more powerful
• The sense of justice;
• Principles of morality and ethics.
Gandhi proved the immoral nature of the British behavior
towards or against their subordinate Indians.
"The human voice can never reach the distance that is
covered by the still small voice of conscience" (Strohm,
2011). Gandhi, however, could make his "still small voice”
“ - Because in our country it is the British who decide how an
Indian lives, what he may buy, what he may sell“.
• Tyranny - controlling of all aspects of the
• Audience and system;
“ - England is so powerful.. its army.. and its navy.. all its
modern weapons.. But when a great power like that strikes
defenseless people, it shows its brutality, its own weakness".
“ - We must defy the British... English factories make
the cloth that makes our poverty..."
• Empire vs multitude
• Indian workers were exploited by the British,
their jobs and money were stolen.
• The multitude, as such can be explained as the
masses of people that are both exploited workers
and potential revolutionaries.
“ - I remember that all through history, the way of truth and
love has always won. There have been tyrants and
murderers… and, for a time, they can seem invincible. But in
the end, they always fall".
• Idealist principles of love, peace, goodness,
honesty, truth, and justice.
• The organizational tools of pure communication, due to
which Gandhi united the masses of his people.
• This was a victory of Idealist peaceful resistance over
“ - This salt comes from the Indian Ocean. Let every Indian
claim it as his right... And so, once more, the man of
nonviolence has challenged the might of the British Empire."
• Neo-Marxist critique against capitalists'
actions in impoverished countries.
• Nationalization of salt as a protest against the
"-The question was intended to discover if there was
any violence on their side.
-No, sir. I'm afraid not…"
“ - What you did in Noakhali, Bapu, was a miracle… miracle… But millions
are on the move and no one can count the dead. In Calcutta, it’s like a civil
war. The Muslims rose and there was a bloodbath. Now the Hindus are
• Anarchy, Chaos.
• The lack of order – when there is a civil war or violent
confrontation between domestic actors.
• In case of India, these were Hindus and Muslims who
fought each other.
• Still, the personality of Mahatma Gandhi rescued India.
• A bit wearying (boring) pace – 3h 11m.
• Better to shorten it in about 2 hours –
only those key events that are dynamic to
make the film more interesting, not
• The film is unfairly biased against Muhammed Ali Jinnah - the
founder of Pakistan.
• Co-funders, the Film Board of India against the founder of
India's neighboring Pakistan.
• As long as the movie is biographical, an
almost-documentary work, it would be
better if the director remained objective,
• Mainly concentrated on Gandhi’s
personality, rather than underlining
someone else’s misconduct.
My Alternative Synopsis
1. Amara. (2012, December 10). Gandhi full movie (1982). Retrieved January 5, 2021, from
2. Attenborough, R. (Director). (1982). Gandhi [Motion Picture]. United Kingdom, India. Retrieved January 4, 2021, from
3. Barkawi, T., & Laffey, M. (2002, January). Retrieving the Imperial: Empire and International Relations. Millennium - Journal of
International Studies, 31(1), 109-127. Retrieved December 12, 2020
4. Bertram, C. (2018, July 26). How Accurate Is The Movie 'Gandhi'? Retrieved January 6, 2021, from
5. Paulus, A., & Vashakmadze, M. (2009, March). Asymmetrical war and the notion of armed conflict: a tentative conceptualization.
91(873), 95-125. Retrieved January 5, 2021, from https://www.corteidh.or.cr/tablas/R23029.pdf
6. Strohm, P. (2011). Conscience: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press. Retrieved January 5, 2021
7. Weber, C. (2005). NeoMarxism: is Empire the new world order? . In C. Weber, International relations theory: a critical introduction (2rd ed., pp.
123-149). Routledge. Retrieved January 5, 2021, from http://aberkane.yolasite.com/resources/International%20Relations%20thiories.pdf
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