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
When the car explodes in front of an office building after two officers walk by, the blast should have shattered the office windows (and there are sounds of breaking glass), yet they remain intact. See more »
(by Jan Luyt Pohl)
Music licensed courtesy of Gallo Music Publishers/Gallo Record Company See more »
Nelson Mandela this movie is about him, and that is the only factor that made to select this movie.
But the story is not about Nelson Mandela (Dennis Haysbert) but about his prison guard James Gregory (Joseph Fiennes) who first serves as a prison guard (in 1968) for Mandela because he knows the African language Xhosa that Mandela and his comrades speak. He is transferred because he shows a soft corner for Mandela but due to international pressure is re-appointed in 1983 till the release of Mandela from prison.
While seeing the movie one feels that what a great honor to have serving contemporary history's most respected leaders as prison guard. Joseph Fiennes shows his range as an actor filling all ranges of age profile being young and energetic to middle aged character. Dennis Haysbert portrays the role of his life time with gut, gutsy and tremendous respect and dignity in being Nelson Mandela an honor for an actor.
The movie as rightly said by some critics is a history lesson of sorts. But please do not be mistaken by this comment. When I read that comment, I had two thoughts whether I should go and see a history lesson? YES everyone who has a golden heart should see this movie. Every person who is by default has white skin should see this movie. It is simple, honest, and displays hidden prejudices of apartheid world that are prevalent even today in forms of class.
As Mahatma Gandhi was called terrorist, so was Nelson Mandela was labeled a terrorist. He used arms struggle for making his point. He wanted the ruling British to talk with nationalist fighters for peace. But British and their allied countries never agreed for a one-to-one dialogue and the mayhem of anarchy, atrocity and violence continued for more than half a century in peaceful and beautiful South African country. The local inhabitants were brutally killed by invaders who occupied most part of resources land claiming it to be their own mother land.
My salute to Denmark Director Bille August who shows the apathy of human mind with everyday talks against terrorist the same we talk today.
I was fortunate to be part of the audience seeing this movie.
(Stars 7.5 out of 10)
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