Production has been completed on “Ahimsa – Gandhi: The Power of the Powerless” a new feature length documentary about Mahatma Gandhi and the concept of non-violence. It features the song “Ahimsa” performed by U2 and A.R. Rahman, with the written by Bono and Rahman.
The film was produced to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth – on Oct. 2 — of Indian lawyer, civil rights activist and politician Mohandas Gandhi. It also comes at a time when support for George Floyd, a black man who died last month at the hands of police in Minnesota, is morphing into a wider movement.
The film was directed and produced by Ramesh Sharma, who previously earned an Emmy nominee for “The Journalist and the Jihadi: The Murder of Daniel Pearl”.) Production and rights sales are handled by South Africa-based Distant Horizon.
“Ahimsa” counts Anant Singh, Xavier Couture, Jean Luc Berlot, Uma Gajapati Raju, and Sanchaita Gajapati Raju as its producers. It is executive produced by Michela Scolari, Simmran Bedi and David Traub.
The film deals with oppression and the denial of basic freedoms to people by those who are in positions of power and who fiercely protect their positions by inflicting violence on innocent people.
“ ‘Ahimsa’ speaks to the conscience of humanity as people globally grapple with intractable problems surrounding race, and as societies struggle to give the marginalized and underserved human dignity and restore fundamental human rights,” said Distant Horizon. “The film brings to the fore the impact of the Gandhian message of non-violence worldwide: how it inspired Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, Barack Obama and the Civil Rights Movement in the United States; the Solidarity Movement in Poland as well as Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.”
“(The film) reminds us that we need to restore human rights and dignity on a universal level. The aggression of the police against George Floyd was so futile and takes me back to the police brutality we endured during apartheid in South Africa. Ramesh Sharma has captured the essence of Gandhi’s philosophy as he took on the might of the British Empire, and the profound influence his teachings have had on the world and why it remains relevant today, more than ever before,” said Distant Horizon president Anant Singh.
“ ‘Ahimsa” shows how Gandhi’s message went beyond the shores of India where he used non-violence as a powerful tool. Today, it still serves as an inspiration to societies fighting injustice,” said Sharma.
Ahimsa is the principle of non-violence which is shared by the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain creeds.