14 user 18 critic

Endgame (2009)

PG-13 | | Drama, History | 18 January 2009 (USA)
A story based on the covert discussions that brought down the Apartheid regime in South Africa.




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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 14 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Professor Willie Esterhuyse
Oliver Tambo
Rudolph Agnew
Mike Huff ...
Willem de Klerk
Stephen Jennings ...
Kobie Coetsee
Sampie Terreblanche
Aziz Pahad
Albie Sachs
Porteus Xandau ...
Christo Brand


A story based on the covert discussions that brought down the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Inspired by a true story that changed the world See more »


Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence/disturbing images and some strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




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Release Date:

18 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apartheids sidste dage  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,608 (USA) (6 November 2009)


$9,645 (USA) (15 January 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


At the beginning of the movie it clearly shows that the speedometer is at 0 while driving down the road. See more »


Epilogue: When the IRA decided to negotiate a peaceful solution to the Irish conflict, they secretly turned to the ANC
[African National Congress]
Epilogue: for advise on how to do it. They are now advising Hamas on the same strategy.
See more »


Featured in Grierson 2010: The British Documentary Awards (2010) See more »


Low Life
Performed by Scanners
Written by Sarah Daly and Matthew Mole
Courtesy of Influx Music Ltd./Dam Mak Records/Rhino Independent
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

uplifting historical drama
24 August 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Endgame," a British film that premiered on PBS' "Masterpiece Contemporary" but also played briefly in theaters in America, provides us with a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the waning days of South African Apartheid.

The time is the 1980s. While political prisoner Nelson Mandela languishes behind bars and violent uprisings rend the fabric of the nation, the white-minority Afrikaner government led by President P.W. Botha has declared the ANC (the African National Congress) to be an illegitimate terrorist organization run by communists and therefore unworthy of a seat at the table in any negotiations concerning the role of blacks in the future of South Africa. Into the breach stride a number of crucial players who are attempting – at great personal risk to themselves and their families - to bring the two opposing sides together through secretive talks being held at an estate in the English countryside. Present at that event are Michael Young (Jonny Lee Miller), a British businessman whose company has vital interests in South Africa and who sees the eventual abolishment of Apartheid as a good and necessary thing on both a professional and moral level; Thabo Mbeki (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a representative from the ANC; and Willie Esterhuyse (William Hurt), a philosophy professor who seems to see both sides of the issue and can therefore serve as an honest broker between the two factions (though the government also sees him as a potentially useful spy for its own side). Mandela (Clarke Peters) and Botha (Timothy West) also appear as characters, with the latter trying to convince the former to denounce the ANC's acts of violence, using subtle tactics of persuasion to do so.

Written by Paula Milne and directed by Pete Travis, "Endgame," which is based on the book "The Fall of Apartheid" by Robert Harvey, strikes a careful balance between conversational sit-downs, where agreements are reached and terms hashed out, and the kind of breath-bating, cloak-and-dagger espionage sequences that are a crucial part of any political thriller. The characters are all thoughtful, three-dimensional men who have strong opinions on matters but who are also open to new ideas and compromise and who often have to contend with their own fears, prejudices and self-doubts before they can finally come to a workable resolution. The movie manages to be intimate in tone while, at the same time, never neglecting the broader political and social canvas against which this small-scale drama is taking place. The result is a well-acted, informative and dramatically compelling re-creation of recent history.

And beyond its purely academic function, "Endgame" serves as an inspirational reminder that it sometimes takes just a handful of brave, morally decent and right-thinking people willing to forget their differences and to come together in a common cause to make the world a better place.

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