This film is part of Free

India in Crisis

Special reporting, featuring Gandhi, which looks at how to get India onside in fighting the Axis of Evil.

Documentary 1942 19 mins


The opening titles announce that this is to be a special report, and in addition to an illuminating debate over the future of India, it certainly has particular visual appeal. Comprising original footage rather than the customary stock shots, it illustrates the questions about unity and independence quite beautifully, presenting frantic everyday scenes packed with life.    

Why tell when you can show? March of Time's new-look newsreels earned their plaudits for allowing the commentary to take a backseat as the more artistic elements of the film took centre stage. While its depiction of the Indian subcontinent is hardly nuanced, the music is one more contributor in this evocative synthesis of sound and image. Naturally, this film reflects the prevailing attitudes of the time – which might explain some of the language used in reference to religious groups, and indeed the somewhat haughty discussion of what the British Empire did for India.