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.
The film tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa's rugby team as they make their historic run to the 1995 Rugby World Cup Championship match. Written by
Morgan Freeman, who has been a friend of Nelson Mandela for many years, prepared for his role as Mandela by watching some tapes of him to perfect his accent and rhythm of speaking. However, the most difficult part was Mandela's charisma, which could not be duplicated: "I wanted to avoid acting like him; I needed to BE him, and that was the biggest challenge. When you meet Mandela, you know you are in the presence of greatness, but it is something that just emanates from him. He moves people for the better; that is his calling in life. Some call it the Madiba magic. I'm not sure that magic can be explained." See more »
Extra time in the rugby final is 20 minutes. Francois Pienaar asks how long to go and is told "7 minutes" (i.e. 13 minutes done) and a little later Nelson Mandela is told "5 minutes" (i.e. 15 minutes done) but in between there is a shot of the video scoreboard reading "11 minutes". Actually overtime is divided in two halves of 10 minutes. In actual footage of the game you can see that it ends at 11 minutes on the 2nd half of overtime and since the clock moves forward in rugby there isn't a continuity mistake here. See more »
High School Boy:
[seeing passing motorcade]
Who is it, sir?
High School Coach:
It's the terrorist Mandela, they let him out. Remember this day boys, this is the day our country went to the dogs.
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During the first part of the end credits, pictures are shown of the real life characters that were portrayed in the movie. Those images are then followed by a scene of South African kids playing rugby. See more »
I must confess that I am a great fan of Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman an Matt Damon (not necessarily in this order), but what impressed me most in this movie was the story (and if it was real, much better!). We can learn from this story that not revenge, but forgiveness is the most powerful weapon of our beings. Seeing this picture movie I realized how difficult was for Mandela to prevent a civil war or even a riot on such a drastic change of regimes. For those who lived under hard circumstances (like apartheid, communism or so called socialism) is much easier to understand the subtlety of the story, and more than that, this movie is a must see. That's one of the reasons I rate it 10 out of 10.
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