30 for 30 (2009– )
7.7/10
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3 user 2 critic
This documentary showcases the South African "Springbok" National Rugby Team and its impact on South Africa's transition from segregation to integration. It involves interviews with players and political activists along with vintage video.

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This documentary showcases the South African "Springbok" National Rugby Team and its impact on South Africa's transition from segregation to integration. It involves interviews with players and political activists along with vintage video.

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4 May 2010 (USA)  »

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Excellent Documentary on Race and Sports
7 May 2010 | by See all my reviews

30 for 30: The 16th Man (2010)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Emotionally charging documentary cover the political and racial climate in South Africa after the release of Nelson Mandela and how much of the racial tension took a back seat to the rugby team that would end up winning the World Cup. Of all the entries in the ESPN series this one here features some of the most recent events so I'm sure many will already know the story of this. The story was also told by Clint Eastwood in INVICTUS, which also had Freeman playing Mandela. Even though the story is very familiar that doesn't take anything away from the film because it does such a good job at telling different sides of the story you can't help but get caught up in the message and especially the outcome. We get to hear from white folks who hated black and had never even spoke with them. We hear from blacks who hated whites and wanted to kill them. Both sides explain the causes for their hatred and then we get to hear about Mandela and why he felt this team was what the country needed. The movie does a great job at really getting to know the players, the location and all the events that were going on during that time. The actual sporting events get footage played but what keeps this film going the best are the actual interviews with all the people who played in the game. Seeing how emotional they still are was quite touching and is what made this film stick out so well.


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