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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.


Justin Chadwick


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





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 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)


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)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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 »



UK | South Africa | France


English | Afrikaans | Xhosa

Release Date:

25 December 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom See more »


Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$84,283, 1 December 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Tony Kgoroge who appears as Mandela's comrade "Walter" also appears in another film surrounding Nelson Mandela 'Invictus' where he plays Mandela's head bodyguard "Jason". See more »


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 »


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.
See more »


Featured in Zoom In: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013) See more »


Hoya Rona
Written by Blondia Makhene (as Blondie Makhene), Stephen Tsie and Mosimanegape C. Biza
Performed by the Cast
Published by 697 Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Idris Elba gives an unforgettable performance
4 July 2014 | by WakenPayneSee all my reviews

This is a movie I watched a couple of days ago. I do know a little bit of what happened in South Africa but not enough for me to say "This is wrong, and so's this". I was interested in this because I wanted to see how this movie held up and for what it is... It isn't that bad. I mean I can see people not liking it but I enjoyed it.

Okay so the plot, Nelson Mandela is a lawyer and political activist who cheated on his wife. He continues to fight for Black Rights, gets married again and has more children until he gets arrested. As his time in jail goes on the situation in South Africa becomes more and more out of control and he gets released from jail by popular demand.

Okay, the acting - especially from Idris Elba is fantastic. He gets completely lost in the role of Nelson Mandela and Naome Harris does a good job as his wife, I don't know that much about her to say whether it is accurate or not. Pretty much everyone does a good job in this movie.

The second half of this movie is also really good. It tells the events in the way they have done but also goes pretty in-depth as to what Mandela was like and it was the point in the movie where it didn't seem like he was fighting for Black rights alone, he was fighting for equality on both parts.

I personally think one thing that is interesting here is that instead of most of the anti-racism movies I watch where, for the most part it shocks you with what happened (depending on the time period in which the movie is set) this movie does that but it is more focused on being inspirational rather then this.

If there was a complaint with this movie is even reaching in 2½ hours it seems like they're squeezing a lot in. I mean it's at least a clear 50 or 60 years of this person's life as well as showing what happened to the people around them. I mean I would have loved to see something along the lines of Mandela's early days in trying to overthrow the Apartheid government and ending with the arrest or on the flip side about Mandela being released, Black people getting the right to vote and him becoming President, even those couple of scenes would have worked as an hour and a half movie. However, for what they have - It's not bad.

In the end I really enjoyed this one. I can see why some people wouldn't though but if you're looking for a story showing the entire adult to elderly life of one of history's greatest people showcased as an inspirational story - this is fine. I would recommend it but at the same time I'd also say what it is to expect.

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