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'If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha' (Sam Manekshaw, former chief of staff of the Indian Army)
In the mountain villages of Nepal, a 200 year old British Military tradition still plays out with the rigour of days of old. Teenagers and young men are recruited to the Brigade of Gurkhas, a special British army unit whose soldiers are renowned for their fearless military prowess.
The status afforded to a Gurkha in Nepali society is near unequalled, as is the salary, and year on year the few positions available are competed for with fierce intensity by the thousands of young men who apply.
With astonishing access to the gruelling recruitment process, award-winning director Kesang Tseten lays bare the desperation, hot tempers, caste prejudices and occasional high spirits that characterise these trials. Lucid and poetic, Who Will Be A Gurkha gets under the skin of this elaborate modern-day ritual, and observes the power relations at play for people serving in a foreign army.
What the audience said
'A very informative film which gave an insight into a world that we are rarely given access to. The discussion by the Gurkhas after the film was very interesting and added to the film.'
'Very moving and informative, fascinating!'
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
After the screening we were joined by Dr Ram Kandangwa, a retired Gurkha and a prominent member of the Gurkha Justice Campaign. If you would like to get involved with the Gurkha Justice Campaign, click HERE to find out how.
Dr Kandangwa is also the General Secretary for BGAESO, a charitable organization to work for the rights, interests and welfare of the British-Gurkha soldiers and their families.
Click HERE to find out more about the Brigade of Gurkhas.
Official Selection: IDFA Competition for Best Feature-Length Documentary 2012
Official Selection: Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 2013