This film is part of Free

Asia's New Voice

Two years after India gained its independence from British rule, was the dream starting to go sour?

Documentary 1949 17 mins


Made by warzone cameraman Peter Hopkinson, this edition of March of Time reflects on the bloodshed that followed the partition of India and Pakistan - including Gandhi's assassination - as well as the class hierarchies which continued to operate. But there are also glimpses of a modernising, professionalised nation – a refreshing change from the chaotic images of India often seen on film.

The political situation in India had preoccupied the March of Time series throughout WWII, when special reports would worry over the possible impact of the independence bid on the Allies' efforts. Even several years on, the filmmakers still seemed anxious about India's susceptibility to political turmoil. This edition poses the question of whether a traditional society is ready for the bold new strategy called for by the new Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.