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Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013)

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A chronicle of Nelson Mandela's life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.

Director:

Justin Chadwick

Writers:

William Nicholson (screenplay), Nelson Mandela (autobiography)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Idris Elba ... Nelson Mandela
Naomie Harris ... Winnie Madikizela
Tony Kgoroge Tony Kgoroge ... Walter Sisulu
Riaad Moosa Riaad Moosa ... Ahmed Kathrada
Zolani Mkiva Zolani Mkiva ... Raymond Mhlaba
Simo Mogwaza Simo Mogwaza ... Andrew Mlangeni
Fana Mokoena ... Govan Mbeki
Thapelo Mokoena ... Elias Motsoaledi
Jamie Bartlett Jamie Bartlett ... James Gregory
Deon Lotz ... Kobie Coetzee
Terry Pheto ... Evelyn Mase
Zikhona Sodlaka Zikhona Sodlaka ... Nosekeni
S'Thandiwe Kgoroge S'Thandiwe Kgoroge ... Albertina Sisulu
Tshallo Sputla Chokwe Tshallo Sputla Chokwe ... Oliver Tambo
Sello Maake Ka-Ncube Sello Maake Ka-Ncube ... Albert Luthuli (as Sello Maake)
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Storyline

Nelson Mandela is a South African lawyer who joins the African National Congress in the 1940s when the law under the Apartheid system's brutal tyranny proves useless for his people. Forced to abandon peaceful protest for armed resistance after the Sharpeville Massacre, Mandela pays the price when he and his comrades are sentenced to life imprisonment for treason while his wife, Winnie, is abused by the authorities herself. Over the decades in chains, Mandela's spirit is unbowed as his struggle goes on in and beyond his captivity to become an international cause. However, as Winnie's determination hardens over the years into a violent ruthlessness, Nelson's own stature rises until he becomes the renowned leader of his movement. That status would be put to the test as his release nears and a way must be found to win a peaceful victory that will leave his country, and all its peoples, unstained. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

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Taglines:

It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of violence and disturbing images, sexual content and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | South Africa | France

Language:

English | Afrikaans | Xhosa

Release Date:

25 December 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$84,283, 1 December 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$8,323,085

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,984,870
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

His trial in 1963 featured in the film was not his only major defense against the state. Between December 5, 1956 and March 29, 1961, he and 29 other freedom fighters either in support of or members of the African National Congress were tried for treason against the government. The trial lasted for nearly four and a half years, and after nearly 12000 documents seized by government officials were reviewed, he and the others were found not guilty. These events are well documented in Mandela's autobiography off of which this film is based between chapters 23 and 39. See more »

Goofs

During the celebrations when the ANC win the elections in 1994, one of the people in the crowd is wearing a South African cricket T-shirt from after 2011. See more »

Quotes

Nelson Mandela: I have walked a long walk to freedom. It has been a lonely road, and it is not over yet. I know that my country, was not made to be a land of hatred. No one is born hating another person because the color of his skin. People learn to hate. They can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart.
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Connections

References Do the Right Thing (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Mayibuye
Performed by Miriam Makeba
Music by Chris Songxaka and lyrics by Miriam Makeba
Published By Gallo Music Publishers (Pty) Ltd and Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd
Miriam Makeba appears courtesy of Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd and the ZM Makeba Trust
Version taken from 'Live At Berns' courtesy of Siyandisa Music (Pty) Ltd and April Film & Bild/Swedish TV
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Dotting the i
24 January 2014 | by seshtSee all my reviews

Watched it earlier tonight. A reviewer was right when he said Chadwick had done a by-the-numbers job on it.

I am Not a fan of biopics. However, I did enjoy 'Gandhi', and, to a relatively lesser extent, 'Aviator'. Those characters too were undeniably compelling, which made the tales all the more riveting. Mandela's character is definitely one such. However, something was lost in translation when it came to filming Madiba's life's work, ironically, in the year that he was finally laid to rest.

No fault lies with the performers, but choosing to sideline a great many supporting characters and not depict the horrors of apartheid in the year of '12 years a slave' (the preview for which played before this one) seems a tad ironic, in not giving the audience something powerful to root against. I don't know if the responsibility rests with the original work itself (in terms of skimming over the details, that is), but the punch, the power, that was sorely needed to make this a rousing epic that it should aspire for, is missing. Someone needs to remake this, if possible, with the same cast, and hopefully make it more powerful/riveting. The old-age makeup on Elba also took me out of the movie multiple times. U2's 'Ordinary love' plays during the end-credits, but I don't know if the movie would have benefited more from it being played over one of the key sequences (take your pick). Perhaps Justin Chadwick was not the man for this job (He took the bite out of 'the other Boleyn girl', so that aspect's consistent enough, that did not make him suitable for this job in any case).

Having said all that, this is still a decent effort, just about right in most departments, and far better than other by-the-numbers predictable/routine fare playing at the local multiplex.


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