25 de agosto de 2014
Richard Attenborough, 1923-2014
There are days of dread when looming horizons forecast the dawning of a future of irretrievable losses. This is one of them. My heart sank on hearing about your departure, more so because it is a clarion call to another loss with which I will one day need to come to terms: that of your brother David.
My thoughts on this day go out to Sir David and to the remembrance of what your career instilled in mine and in my formative years. I thank you as I once had the opportunity of thanking your brother for all he means in my life.
Short for words as I am, let me just tell you how watching "Ghandi" and "Cry Freedom" helped carve my academic and intellectual path towards imperial studies. I know for a fact how those movies have also inspired some of my students into writing their dissertations. From within academe, I am sure that, albeit the angle one chooses to look at it, today, all of us who study Empire are grateful for your having recreated on screen what we struggle to bring to life in the long dead and lifeless pages of archives. Your images and layer upon layer of the plight of the oppressed have reached millions through an industry available to the masses: entertainment. Our gratitude to your work cannot go out in silence. Not today.
You once said you wished to be remembered as a storyteller. I will remember you as the storyteller of a part of History I study, a storyteller who also happens to be the sibling of my most respected and impacting intellectual influence, David Attenborough.