Thursday, May 24, 2007

Who here has seen 'Gandhi?'

And I'm not talking about Devin Davis either.

I'm talking about the Richard Attenbourgh film that stars Gandhi playing himself. I know that Ben Kingsley reportedly played Gandhi, but I think it's the real thing. I mean how can you play Gandhi and then turn up in 'Species'? I just don't think it's him.

If you haven't seen this movie, FOR SHAME, it's the real deal. I seriously can think of few films that are edifying as this. If you don't turn off the TV with a renewed sense of determination to be a 'good' person you must not have a pulse.

So here's my question, why isn't there a great film out there about any of the LDS church leaders? I'm thinking primarily of Brigham Young and Joseph Smith. Seriously, they were pretty important on the grand scale of life, and yet we are left without a really valid modern portrait of either of them.

I know that there would be difficulty in presenting EITHER story (I'm talking basically about polygamy here). But, come on! I think that either would be a compelling story that people would want to see and would leave the theater rejuvenated, and determined to be 'good'

So, why isn't it happening? Or is it a good thing that it isn't?


  1. Funny you mention it, Taliatha and I just watched Gandhi for the first time a couple of months ago. I enjoyed it. Gandhi was a great man, although his economic philosophies were flawed (another similarity to JS and BY?).

    The LDS film community is still a fairly new phenomenon, right? I know Richard Dutcher wanted to make a movie about JS, but it fell through (I don't know the particulars).

    I think the LDS community and the world at large still lack a sense of who these men were. What most people get is either a caricature of power-hungry theocrats or a glorified portrait of perfect men. I think Richard Bushman's biography of Joseph Smith (Rough Stone Rolling) is a step in the right direction to fixing this. It is one of the first biographies of the prophet that creates some middle ground with room for faith. It places Joseph in his historical context, frankly addresses his strengths and weaknesses and establishes plausibility for his divine calling without trying to prove it through apologetics.

  2. I saw Ghandi for the first time within the last year. It was really enlightening, since I really didn't know much about him. Also, I think that Ben Kingsley recently appeared in BloodRayne - a movie adapted from a video game and is apparently pretty awful.

    I wondered if the difficulties in making that Joseph Smith movie had some hand in leading Dutcher to leave the church. I thought his statement in the Daily Herald hinted at some (real or perceived) friction with church members or leaders over what he wanted to include in that movie.

    Rough Stone Rolling was amazing. I would recommend it to non-member friends who wanted an historical perspective of the church. I would also read it as a companion to studying the Doctrine and Covenants for the fascinating historical context of those early revelations.

  3. 1. Gandhi is a great movie, saw it a couple of months ago for the first time. Amazing how religious differences can be so divisive and how 1 person can make a difference even in the most out of control situations.

    2. Richard Bushman's books is a great read. I would love to see more biographies of this caliber written on other church leaders.

    3. Regarding a film about a church leader, it's hard because there are a lot of strong feelings on both sides, positive and negative. I don't think a lot of people really hate Gandhi, so it's easier to make a movie that appeals to everyone.

  4. Whoa dude, we all like saw Gandhi in the last year for the first time. That is pretty heavy.