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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Paquito D'Rivera, who has won 12 Grammys, is celebrated both for his artistry in Latin jazz and his achievements as a classical composer. D'Rivera's latest project, “Jazz Meets the Classics,” was released this month. He joins us on the latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."