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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.
James Gregory once lived in a farm and had befriended a native youth, Bafana, and had even had a photograph taken with him. Years later, now married to Gloria and father of three children (Chris, Brett, and Natasha), James has nothing but shame and regret, as many South African Caucasians in the oppressive Apartheid-era ridiculed him, leading him to hate Africans. He seeks to redeem himself by spying on imprisoned African National Congress Leader, Nelson Mandela. In the restrictive high security prison his job is to censor all written and verbal communications between prisoners, their visitors, and correspondence. James is uncomfortable when he witnesses Caucasian police and security officers' brutality against civilians, including infants, and tries to understand why Nelson became a rebel. This leads him to examine the 'Freedom Charter', a banned document, reportedly known to incite violence against 'whites'. And when he does read this document, he changes his mind about Nelson's ... Written by
I'd just like to make the point that Raj Doctor of Amsterdam's comment above is more than a little misleading, as well as giving a rather simplified version of the long and complex history of what became the Republic of South Africa.
He refers to 'the ruling British', a group apparently wholly responsible for the racism and violence which have beset the country. South Africa achieved sovereignty in 1934, and became a republic in 1961. The government of the country was dominated until 1994 by the Afrikaner community (a majority amongst white South Africans) who, as most people would presumably know, were certainly not of 'British' origin. One might expect someone from the Netherlands to know that they are comprised chiefly of Dutch settlers...
Britain may be the former colonial power in SA, but was not the initiator of the post-war apartheid policy, still less the force which actually brought it about. Britain gave up its African colonies in the 1960s, so has not "ruled" anywhere on the continent in a direct sense since then, and has not ruled SA since considerably earlier than that. The particular nature of the problems which South Africa has faced are based primarily on the relatively significant size of its white population and their attendant rule (dominated as it has been by Afrikaners) not on 'British rule'.
I enjoyed the film, by the way. A thoughtful and satisfying treatment of the subject on the whole, I thought.
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