Reviewed at Gothenburg Film Festival, Jan. 30, 2000. Original title: Dar valdet slutar borjar karleken. Running time: 84 MIN.
With: Ossi Carp, Nadine Naidoo, Bill Curry, Rafiq Jajbhay, Sivan Pillay, Olivia Stevens, Peter Taggart-Holland, Alex Pattterson, Llewellyn Roderick, Nick Borraine, Richard Havard, Alfons Nederstrom.
Narrator: Marika Lagercrantz.
A low-budget mixture of documentary and feature, depicting Mahatma Gandhi’s experiences as a young man in South Africa, “Where Violence Ends Love Begins” is a flawed labor of love by leftist documaker Maj Wechselmann that still has considerable merits. Shot mostly on video, with a mixture of amateurs and unknown professional actors, pic provides a detailed depiction of the events that turned Gandhi from a spoiled rich man’s son to one of the greatest freedom-fighters of all time. Natural home for this “Violence” is on the tube.
Musician Ossi Carp plays the young Gandhi, who arrives in South Africa to practice law. He immediately runs into the racism and class system that dominates the country, but, when the Boer War starts, he still volunteers for military duty, forming a group of Indian doctors and nurses to help the South African side. Later, Gandhi witnesses whites letting Indians in Johannesburg die from the plague, and, when the Zulus rise up against the government, he sees many black warriors whipped to death. Experiences like these mold his decision to use non-violence to seek justice.