7:30 PM, 27th March, 2014
Nelson Mandela’s death late last year closely coincided with the overseas release of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. The biopic is a sprawling, sumptuous tribute to the man, primarily driven by the charisma of its subject, as played by Idris Elba.
The film is based on Mandela’s autobiography, and tracks his life from his childhood and education, to his time as a revolutionary fighter under apartheid, his 28-year tenure in prison, and subsequent rise to the South African presidency in 1994. A momentous historical figure, the film proclaims to be the definitive account of his life. Thus, all 141 minutes of its runtime are chock-a-block with every milestone of one of the defining figures of the late 20th century.
But the film also gives significant focus to Mandela the man; his early years are chronicled as he causes trouble, and chews through girlfriends and a first marriage. Another outstanding performance is delivered by Naomie Harris as his second wife, Winnie Mandela.
The film offers a complete overview of the strength, determination and resilience of the man who brought peace to South Africa, and inspired the world with his capacity to forgive, and even usher in a state-wide policy of forgiveness. It is a must-see, especially for those in the dark about one of the most important people of our time. Nelson Mandela is gone, but the world will not forget him.