Winnie Mandela (2011)
"Winnie" (original title)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  6 September 2013 (USA)
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A drama that chronicles the life of Winnie Mandela from her childhood through her marriage and her husband's incarceration.



(inspired by and based upon the book "Winnie Mandela: A Life"), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Major de Vries
Mary Botha
Aubrey Poo ...
Peter Magubane
Unathi Kapela ...
Winnie (12 & 13)
Fezeka Ndlazilwana ...
Nancy (8)
Talitha Ndima ...
Nancy (10, 20, 28 & 30)
Professor Mavuso ...
Columbus Madikizela
Nomsa Xaba ...
Bongi Mdongwe ...
Gertrude (as Bongi Mbongwe)
Tom Fairfoot ...
BBC Reporter
Jonathan Rands ...
Judge de Wet
Jennifer Steyn ...
School Inspector
Andre Van Der Merwe ...
School Inspector


A drama that chronicles the life of Winnie Mandela from her childhood through her marriage and her husband's incarceration.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Untold Story See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence and language


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

6 September 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Winnie Mandela  »

Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


In the end credits, Neil Sandilands is credited as Dr. Hattingh although the role was played by Albert Maritz. See more »

Crazy Credits

In the end cast credits, actor Neil Sandilands is listed as playing the character 'Dr. Hattingh,' but then this is followed by the actress Antoinette Louw" as playing the character of his wife with a different spelling of her last name as 'Mrs. Hatingh.' See more »


Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #19.12 (2010) See more »


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Written by Diane Warren
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Performed by Jennifer Hudson with Soweto Gospel Choir
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User Reviews

Like her or not, this movie should have been better
27 March 2014 | by (Kansas City, MO, USA) – See all my reviews

This biopic about the first wife of iconic and legendary South African statesman and apartheid adversary Nelson Mandela, stars Academy Award winning actress Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) as the title character who was raised in a strict, rural upbringing with a schoolteacher father who was disappointed with the fact that she was his sixth daughter. Winnie worked hard to win his approval and when she was of age she moved to the city to pursue medical school -- which was unusual in a sexist, apartheid South Africa. It was here that she met (and almost reluctantly) fell in love with the young political revolutionary Mandela (Terrence Howard - Hustle & Flow) who was already an "enemy" of the white government for believing in equality.

The film is rather shaky in that it doesn't really appear to know how it wants to portray Winnie and while an Oscar-winner (in a good performance with one STELLAR, knockout scene), Hudson does appear to have a limited acting range. After Nelson is arrested and incarcerated, Winnie also faces some horrible and unjust, inhumane abuses at the hands of the South African government. Once she is freed she attempts to carry his mantle but does so with some very questionable actions that have today tainted her legacy.

The film perhaps wants to be overly honest but in doing so Winnie doesn't come across as a winning figure for such a biopic. She is quite polarizing and the "hero tone" the film presents is rather conflicting. This could possibly all be intentional on the filmmaker's part.

Different time ... different place. She was strong and she was not broken and she did NOT give up. Like her or not -- she was no Nelson -- but I wish this movie had been better.

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