Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom


Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is a film that seeks to illustrate a mans pursuit to fight for what he believes in, the extent of what Mandela is willing sacrifice for a cause and the ultimate lengths one human will journey to be heard by the people. These issues could be associated with any obstacles throughout recorded history. Well this film shows the audience that a movement can be design by an average citizen or a high-profile public figure as we’re introduce to a young man who create a cause that was felt around the world.

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Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is a biographical film that features the solid actor Idris Elba in the title role. Surprisingly, he does a decent job, despite the weak script. Elba becomes unrecognizable, immersing himself in Mandela’s world, which wasn’t difficult to do thanks to accurate sets and on-location shooting wherever possible. Spending a day locked in Mandela’s cell on Robben Island and walking where Madiba walked must have anchored his performance and resonated on another level for the actor, whose casting might have come as a surprise to some.

This film was conceived by Director Justin Chadwick and screenwriter William Nicholson. While it does its best to jam pack 50 years into 146 minutes, it really doesn’t capture the complete essence of Mandela; however one of the most powerful scenes comes when he’s deemed a terrorist and arrested, as everyone knows he must be, the news is delivered to Winnie via a boy dashing through their township, leaping over fences and racing through alleys, until he reaches her yard and yells out, “They caught him!” Winnie’s face here, framed by the narrow doorway of her home, does all the emotional work you might expect, her wide, her mouth twisted in horror and her baby on her hip. It’s this scene, as well as others, that will get the audience emotionally tangled into one man’s vision to go from becoming an idealistic lawyer to becoming the first president of post-apartheid South Africa.