Little Gandhi

. 91 min. Kino Lorber. 2016. DVD UPC 738329236687..
Peaceful protest has often inspired activists to seek change in political regimes in dire need of it. In 2011, with the Arab Spring movement sweeping the Middle East, Syrian protestors attempted to use this tactic to launch a nonviolent revolution against the dictatorship of President Bashar al-Asaad, led by the efforts of activist Ghiyath Matar. Drawing from the 1960s U.S. peace and civil rights movements, Matar proposed confronting government militia with flowers and bottled water rather than taking up arms, defusing the tension before it escalated to violence. It’s an approach that earned him the nickname “Little Gandhi” in honor of the legendary man of peace. In this new documentary by the same name, Matar’s peers and the government officials who witnessed his efforts offer their views on his strategy and his attempts at forestalling the bloody civil war that eventually erupted. Though his efforts may have come up short, he inspired a generation to continue seeking the goal that prompted this noble initiative.
VERDICT An inspiring profile of an enlightened visionary.
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