Gandhi film promotes peace


By Elizabeth Kessel

Not many people can say that their life is their message. On Nov. 14, a showing of the documentary “Gandhi’s Gift” took place at Clackamas Community College.
In some ways, “Gandhi’s Gift” was like any other documentary: it was informational and it reported the facts.
For me, it went through like a list of events about Gandhi in chronological order. At the same time, this documentary was different.
The difference was in the details and in the message that someone with very little can spark something big.
It took the producers, Cynthia Lukas and Kell Kearns, about five years to research and finish the film.
In simplest terms, Gandhi’s story can be broken into two parts. The first is how he became the world-renowned leader we know him as today. The second is what he actually did during his protesting.
When Gandhi was young, he practiced law, and his firm at the time sent him to South Africa with his wife. As an Indian immigrant, he was met with discrimination.

Events that occurred in South Africa eventually led Gandhi to start using passive resistance, which is a non-violent way of not cooperating with authorities. It is using truth and firmness to an advantage.
Gandhi went through many hardships, such as watching his wife die and fasting for his movement. Gandhi persevered through hard times, and he stood up for change and what he believed in, all in a peaceful way. This is why it’s a timeless story.
Our country just voted in our next president for 2017 and the responses to the results are divided. Some are in favor of Trump becoming president while others have used their voices to express disdain.
“The film is very relevant as a result of the election,” said Lukas in a comment about the film’s release occurring at the same time the new president was elected.

“Although, we the filmmakers always believed that Gandhi would be relevant whenever we finished the film since he has a timeless life message about nonviolence, equality, interfaith harmony and sustainability.”
Some citizens are outraged at the results and have started protesting. It has been happening across America, including in downtown Portland.
At a time where there is so much hate, let there be peace. We should look to Gandhi as a role model on what to do when everything seems to be crumbling down.
I am not advocating for everyone to start fasting or to get arrested, but to protest peacefully. The most important thing is to not engage in violence.
If you didn’t get a chance to view the documentary at the college, a calendar can be found online at, which shows where the film is going next. It will also be available on PBS soon.

Elizabeth Kessel