News / Arts & Entertainment

Mandela Biopic Recounts Apartheid Icon's Life

Mandela Biopic Recounts Apartheid Icon's Lifei
X
December 24, 2013 4:49 PM
Just weeks after Nelson Mandela's death, a film about his life opens in U.S. theaters. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom follows the apartheid icon's journey from a lawyer and activist, through decades in prison and finally to president of South Africa. VOA's Penelope Poulou reports.
Mandela Biopic Recounts Apartheid Icon's Life
Penelope Poulou
Just weeks after Nelson Mandela's death, a film about his life opens in U.S. theaters. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom follows the apartheid icon's journey from a lawyer and activist, through decades in prison and finally to president of South Africa.

"The story of apartheid in a color-divided Africa, South Africa, is but 25 years old," said Idris Elba, who portrays Mandela in the film. "And so you understand that is important generally to the world to see that we don't make those mistakes again."

During the film's Dec. 5 premiere in London, which was attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, news of Mandela's death broke.

The movie's producer says the iconic leader had the chance to see parts of the film before he died.

"We showed the footage to Nelson Mandela," said Harvey Weinstein, "and he looked at it and he goes, 'That's me.'"

Mandela's life with his wife Winnie was interrupted by his long imprisonment, and the film underscores all that was stolen from the South African leader as well as the pain his family suffered for 27 years.

"Winnie's journey is not a comfortable one, is not really a pleasant one," said Naomi Harris, who portrays Winnie Mandela. "There is not a lot of joy there and a lot of laughter."

After his release, the film shows Mandela meeting an angry Winnie, who wants to continue the struggle. But the aged Mandela has forgiven his enemies for the sake of his country and is determined to pull his people from the brink of civil war.

"People love to hate," the character of Mandela says in the fim. "They can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart."
 
Although the film does not successfully capture Mandela's transformation from an activist rebel to a pacifist statesman, Elba's performance has earned him a Golden Globe nomination.

"Mr. Mandela will live on. He will never die," Elba said. "I think essentially this film will contribute to that."

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

"Soul Lounge" host Shawna Renee catches up with soul singer and songwriter Russell Taylor to hear what he’s been up to since winning the VH1 "You Oughta Know" title in 2013. She also convinces him to share a few songs from his album "War of Hearts."