[Friday Feature] 'Nelson Mandela In The Movies' Sodas & Popcorn's Tribute To An African Legend


    Last week, the World lost an inspiration, a legend and one of the greatest leaders of our time, all rolled in one in Tata Nelson Madiba Mandela.

    Praises of the exemplary life of the icon continue to pour in, and this week, #FridayFeature has decided to honour this great man in our own little way.

    Over the years, Movies telling the story of the life and times of Mandela have been made. It is not an easy task capturing the life of such a great man, but people have been able to do so successfully.

    As a way of celebrating Madiba, we are going to take a look at some of the movies that have over the years captured his life and his message (or at least tried to) and the actors that carried the enormous responsibility of playing the icon.

    Starting with the most recent;

    1. Mandela: Long walk to freedom


    The movie premiered on the 7th of September 2013 at the Toronto International Film Festival. It is based on the 1994 book, “Long walk to freedom” by Nelson Mandela himself. It was directed by Justin Chadwick and stars Idris Elba as Madiba.

    The movie traces Mandela’s life, from his teenage years to his time as an attorney in Johannesbourg, his involvement in politics, the 27 years he spent in prison and his election as the first black South African president.


    2. Winnie Mandela

    This movie was also released at the Toronto International film festival, although in 2011. It is based on the biography of the former wife of Nelson Mandela; Winnie Mandela, as written by Anne Marie du Preez Bezrob.

    Although the primary focus of the movie is not Madiba, he is an important figure in the movie.

    Terrence Howard plays Nelson Mandela in the movie directed by Darrell Roodt, while Jennifer Hudson stars as Winnie Mandela.


    3. Invictus

    The Untitled Madela Project

    (This is my favourite of all the Mandela movies I’ve seen. I think it is absolutely brilliant).

    The movie is based on the book, “Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the game that made a Nation”, by John Carlin. It looks at Mandela’s involvement with South Africa’s Rugby team during the 1995 World Cup. He had hoped that the tournament, which was hosted by South Africa, would break racial barriers and unite the country.

    The movie which was released in 2009 features Morgan Freeman as Mandela and also starred Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar (Captain of the South African Rugby team).


    4. Goodbye Bafana


    This is also a true story and is based on the book, “Goodbye Bafana: Nelson Mandela, My Prisoner, My Friend”, by James Gregory and was released in 2007.

    The movie focuses on James Gregory (played by Joseph Fiennes), a white prison guard,who guarded Nelson Mandela for 20 of the 27 years he was in jail. The movie explores the relationship between the Mandela and the prison guard.

    Billie August directed it, and it features Dennis Haysbert as Mandela.


    5. Mandela and de Klerk


    This is a 1997 TV movie about Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk- the last president of apartheid-era South Africa. The movie looks at how De Klerk came to announce that Nelson Mandela, who had served 27 years behind bars, would be released.

    Sidney Poiter played Nelson Mandela, while Michael Caine starred as De Klerk. The movie was directed by Joseph Sargent.


    6. Mandela


    This was another TV movie about the life of Mandela. It was released in 1987 and focuses on the early years of Mandela’s activism. Danny Glover played Mandela.

    All the movies mentioned above were made before Mandela’s death. Now that he is dead, I’m almost certain one or two more will be made in the near future to honour him.

    So that’s all we have for you this week. Hope you enjoyed it.

    Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment box on which of the actors mentioned above you think played Mandela the best. Also, if there is going to be another Mandela movie in the future, who do you think should play Mandela and why?

    Until next time, Ciao.