A.K. Chettiar's film on Gandhi screened

Staff Reporter

The film has now been converted into a DVD form Among the episodes are those showing him attending the Round Table Conference in London

Chennai: A documentary film on Gandhi, photographed by A.K. Chettiar, was screened at the Thakkar Bapa Vidyalaya's Vinobha Hall.

The original 81-minute film, `Mahatma Gandhi - 20th Century Prophet,' was reportedly lost, but the original film released in 1953 in Hollywood is available with the Gandhi Museum, Madurai.

A. Annamalai, director of the Gandhi Study Centre, said the screening in Chennai was arranged for the benefit of the people and media.

A.K. Chettiar, a writer and journalist, edited a monthly magazine Kumari Malar. He learned photography in Japan and the United States and entered the film world with a primary vision of making a film on Gandhi, S. Pandian, secretary, Gandhi Museum, Madurai, said.

He started the Documentary Films Ltd. Company to produce the film and collect the footages taken earlier on the subject.

After three years of travel, he collected 50,000 feet of film and produced a film of 12,000 feet length and was screened in Chennai on August 23, 1940.

The film has now been converted into a DVD form as 16 mm projector bulbs are not easily available any more, he said.

Among the episodes are those showing Gandhiji's participation in the All India Congress Committee meeting in India, the Round Table Conference in London, the Salt Satyagraha and the Quit India movement.

The documentary will be screened at the Gandhi Memorial Museum, Madurai, once a fortnight, free of cost to students and public.

After production in Hollywood by A.K. Chettiar, the film was screened for the first time in Washington. President Eisenhower saw the film with his wife, Mr. Pandian notes.

The film was screened at New Delhi with a Hindi commentary on the eve of independence.

Tamil commentary

Some of the episodes of the film with Tamil commentary are available in the Gandhi Films Foundation.

Recommended for you