Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Watch Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

"It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."
  • PG-13
  • 2013
  • 2 hr 26 min
  • 7.1  (29,117)
  • 60

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, released in 2013, is a biographical film based on the autobiography of the same name written by Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president, and anti-apartheid revolutionary. The film is directed by Justin Chadwick, with Idris Elba playing the lead role of Nelson Mandela, Naomie Harris as his second wife Winnie Mandela, and Terry Pheto as his first wife Evelyn Mase.

The movie traces the journey of Mandela from his early days as a lawyer to his release from prison in 1990 after serving 27 years for his political activism. Set against the backdrop of apartheid-era South Africa, the film depicts the struggle of black South Africans for equality in a society where discrimination was institutionalized.

The opening sequence introduces us to the young Mandela, a lawyer in Johannesburg, who is fighting against racial discrimination in his own small way. Through a series of flashbacks, we see how his experiences as a young boy, his education, and his growing awareness of the injustices in his society shaped his views on racism and inequality.

The film captures the intense political climate of the time, with the African National Congress (ANC) beginning to mobilize against the apartheid government. Mandela's activism takes a radical turn when peaceful protest proves ineffective and the ANC adopts violent tactics.

We see Mandela and his comrades being arrested and imprisoned, and we gain an insight into the physical and emotional toll that such confinement takes on them. The film depicts the years of separation between Mandela and his family and the indignities and brutality that he and other political prisoners faced during their incarceration on Robben Island.

As the struggle for freedom intensifies, we see Mandela's commitment to the cause strengthening. He becomes a symbol of hope for black South Africans, while also being a thorn in the side of the apartheid government. His release from prison in 1990, after international pressure and years of negotiation, marks a turning point in the struggle for equality.

The second half of the movie focuses on Mandela's return to public life, his attempts to negotiate a peaceful transition to democracy, and his ultimate ascent to the presidency. We see him reunite with Winnie, who has been fighting a different battle on the home front, and the two struggle to reconcile their differences caused by the prolonged separation.

The film does not shy away from showing the flaws in Mandela's character, particularly his complicated relationship with his family, his infidelity, and his apparent insensitivity to Winnie's more militant approach. However, it also highlights his leadership qualities, his unwavering belief in the cause of freedom, and his ability to bring different groups together.

The performances of the actors are exceptional, particularly Idris Elba, who portrays Mandela with a quiet intensity, capturing both his charisma and his vulnerability. Naomie Harris gives a strong performance as Winnie, a woman who is as passionate about the liberation struggle as her husband is, but who has to endure years of imprisonment, torture, and solitary confinement, and whose mental health is affected as a result.

The film is visually stunning, with beautiful scenery and cinematography that captures the spirit of South Africa in all its diversity. It is a powerful story of a man's journey from fervent activism to political leadership, and of a country's struggle to overcome the legacy of apartheid.

In conclusion, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is a must-watch for anyone interested in the history of South Africa and the story of Nelson Mandela. It is a tribute to a man who became a beacon of hope for millions of people and a reminder of the ongoing struggle for justice and equality in many parts of the world.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is a 2013 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 26 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 60.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
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Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 26 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (29,117)
  • Metascore