Based on former South African president Nelson Mandela’s autobiography “Long Walk To Freedom”, the movie Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom tells the story of his early life, leading to his incarceration on Robben Island, and eventual release and presidency.
Under the direction of Justin Chadwick, Idris Elba plays a very true to life Mandela, bringing to screen the many idiosyncrasies the world has come to know. Coupled with a storyline that stays true to the facts, and does not take sides in the delicate telling of this part of South Africa’s history, the audience is treated to a gritty view of the violence perpetrated by both sides in the struggle to find an end to apartheid.
Naomie Harris plays an angry Winnie Mandela, caught up in her own quest for revenge, and desire to see her people in power. There is an intricate chemistry between the two Mandela’s, much that which we can piece together from what public exposure their lives had.
There are scenes of violence, but those are tempered with an objective eye, neither pointing a finger at any political regime, nor glamorising the events.
Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom is a candid look at important times for South Africa, and allows us to look inwards and ponder where all the violence and hatred in the world has come from.