Guest / Limited Access /
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
The Weinstein Company
Idris Elba in 'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom'
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
 
(2 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (For some intense sequences of violence and disturbing images, sexual content and brief strong language)
Genre
Directed By
Justin Chadwick
Run Time
2 hours 21 minutes
Cast
Idris Elba, Naomie Harris, Tony Kgoroge, Riaad Moosa
Theatre Release
December 25, 2013 by The Weinstein Company

Some biopics of towering historical figures focus on rather narrow episodes of the subject's life (see Lincoln, The Queen, and so on). But Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom opts to cover nearly all of Nelson Mandela's life as a lawyer, anti-apartheid political leader, and South African icon.

Normally this approach falters, simply because that breadth almost always means sacrificing depth in a two- or three-hour film. A person's entire life—full of episodes, rabbit trails, and a tangled web of complexity—does not always translate cleanly to a focused, insightful feature-length screen portrait. The best biopics often focus on one period in a person's life to showcase their character and complexity—the early career of Johnny Cash (Walk the Line), Truman Capote's writing of In Cold Blood (Capote), or Nelson Mandela's recognition that the 1995 Rugby World Cup was an opportunity to help heal his post-Apartheid nation (Invictus).

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl), takes the long-view approach to the life of Mandela (Idris Elba), as its title implies. Based on his 1994 autobiography of the same name, Mandela covers about 50 years of the man's life, from his childhood as a herd boy in South Africa's rural Cape region, to his rise as an Apartheid resistance leader. Mandela was then a prisoner for three decades before ascending in 1994 to the South African presidency as the nation's first black president, elected in the nation's first fully representative, multiracial election.

In this case the long view approach (mostly) works, given the single-minded focus at its core. Mandela wants freedom for his people. That is what drives ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current Issue
Subscriber Access Only
Should Your Favorite Ministry Become a ‘Church’?
Why more parachurch groups are telling the US government they’re not like other nonprofits.
TrendingWhy Do We Have Christmas Trees?
Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?
The history behind evergreens, ornaments, and holiday gift giving.
Editor's PickThe Grace of Church Discipline
The Grace of Church Discipline
We do no one any favors if we ignore or downplay core beliefs.
Christianity Today
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

November 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.