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Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2014) - Film Review

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by Juran Hakim (subscribe)
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Published June 3rd 2014

When a film is based or adapted from a book, more than likely the book will provide a better experience. If a film is centred around a figure such as Nelson Mandela, it becomes almost impossible to encapsulate his triumphs and legacy.

Nelson Mandela (played by Idris Elba)

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, directed by Justin Chadwick and starring Idris Elba alongside actress Naomie Harris and a wealth of other talented actors, is a film based on Mandela's autobiography of the same name.

Winnie Mandela (played by Naomie Harris)

It is one that showcases the depth of Idris Elba's acting abilities more than anything else, but a perspective of Mandela's journey is shown in a level of detail different from previous films about the great man.

South Africa during the 40's and 50's was an extremely hostile place, especially for black people.

In Nelson Mandela's case, South Africa was a place he called home, yet he knew that it was time for a change.

Apartheid S.A. was something Mandela stood vehemently against. Not only was Mandela a proud South African, he was also a revolutionary, politician, philanthropist and also South Africa's first black chief executive.

The accolades and achievements earned by this man would fill numerous pages. His character and actions are most important and it is this aspect that Chadwick focuses on in the film.

Many films have been produced to recapture the story of Nelson Mandela. Actors such as Sidney Poitier, Morgan Freeman and Terrance Howard have all played Mandela on screen.

Where Mandela : Long Walk to Freedom stands out is in its acting and beautiful soundtrack, featuring original music from the likes of U2.

Mandela once said, "A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination." As these words ring true, it is deeply moving to think that Nelson Mandela passed away just as this film was being premiered in London. It is needless to say that his legacy will undoubtedly be remembered.

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