When the South African government promises to 'eradicate the slums' and begins to evict shack dwellers far outside the city, three friends who live in Durban's vast shantytowns refuse to be... See full summary »
A dedicated music teacher in East Harlem instructs a gaggle of underprivileged children in the art of the violin. In the climax, they play Carnegie Hall with some of the world's foremost ... See full summary »
The childhood, adolescence, and incredible adult years of Al Hirshfeld, celebrated creator of thousands of line drawings of famous people - many in the entertainment industry - over a span ... See full summary »
Susan Warms Dryfoos
The profile of controversial journalist George Seldes and a piercing examination of America's news media. Narrated by Susan Sarandon, with readings of writings by Ed Asner, this Academy ... See full summary »
Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
Based on a true story, after the US withdrawal and the fall of South Vietnam to the communist forces in 1975, many people are sent to reeducation camps. Several desperate boys in one of the camps begin planing their escape.
This is one of the better historical documentaries that I have seen in awhile covering any subject. Producing a documentary on Nelson Mandela is a rather formidable undertaking, and I believe that the filmmakers prove to be up to the task. The film portrays Mandela not as a saint, but as a human being -- yes sometimes egotistical, but steadfast throughout his struggle. One of the most memorable parts of the film (edited marvelously) for me was the section describing the Sharpeville massacre (including actual footage) and how this event was key in turning Mandela from non-violence to armed struggle. Also powerful is the coverage of Mandela's first trial on treason. Not only is footage woven in with interviews of key colleagues of Mandela, but one can see from the interview subjects that the fight against apartheid in South Africa was not merely a black versus white struggle. The struggle, in fact, encompassed a number of different ethnicities -- even Afrikkaners.
There is a fair share of South African music throughout the film, and I believe that it helps to punctuate the emotions of the time and bring the viewer closer to the subjects of the documentary.
If there is any criticism I have of the film, it is that I would have liked to see more on Mandela's interaction (or sometimes, lack of) with Bishop Desmond Tutu. Tutu stood for non-violence throughout, and may have been as important as Mandela and the ANC in forcing the issue of apartheid.
Overall, this film is far better than most historical documentaries (and I have seen my fair share of bad ones!).
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?