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Film Review – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Director: Justin Chadwick
Screenplay: William Nicholson
Cast: Idris Elba and Naomie Harris
Genre: Drama
Rating:****

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is based on former South African President Nelson Mandela’s autobiography of the same name. It tells the story of his early life and 27 years in prison before becoming president and working to rebuild the country’s segregated society.
This is a summary for those of you who have been living under a rock for the past two decades and do not know the story of Madiba. The movie stars Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela and Noamie Harris as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom gives the viewers an insight of the courage and strength Madiba had and Elba gives an excellent performance that conveys the passion and dedication Madiba had as a political leader and human rights advocate in South Africa. I would also advice you to watch the special feature which shows what impact Madiba had on several personalities including Whoopi Goldberg, John Legend and Angela Basset. The behind-the-scenes also offers an up-close look at the soundtrack and the process used to create and apply prosthetic makeup to age the actors.

I think it is very important to make movies about African leaders whether they had a bad or good influence on Africa and the world. I say this because it is very rare for the generation of today to pick up a book and read just for pleasure. They have to be forced to read because they prefer technology, more pictures and less words. So for them to know about the history of Africa or the world, movies are indeed a better medium than books for now.I have only one criticisms to give about this movie. Why do they always get non-African actors to play the leading roles in movies about African people. Do we not have good enough African actors? I get the point that the youngsters will get exited if they hear that a famous actors will be in the movie but I want to see more Africans in African movies and not in supporting roles but as the main character.
I still remember watching the movie Mandela with Danny Glover but I could not relate to the movie because of Glover. It does not matter how right they get the African accent or how well they play the part I still feel disconnected. But that’s just me.
During the Royal premiere screening of the movie Zindzi Mandela the daughter of Madiba was told of her father’s death, while the audience members were informed after the film.  This is such a coincidence and because Africans are so superstitious this probably has a meaning. Go watch the movie and enjoy it, and maybe it will help you understand Madiba the man better and not the legend.

 Rating Score
* – Poor
** – Average
*** – Good
**** – Very Good
***** – Excellent

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