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Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013)

2:27 | Trailer
A chronicle of Nelson Mandela's life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.


Justin Chadwick


William Nicholson (screenplay), Nelson Mandela (autobiography)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Idris Elba ... Nelson Mandela
Naomie Harris ... Winnie Madikizela
Tony Kgoroge Tony Kgoroge ... Walter Sisulu
Riaad Moosa Riaad Moosa ... Ahmed Kathrada
Zolani Mkiva Zolani Mkiva ... Raymond Mhlaba
Simo Mogwaza ... Andrew Mlangeni
Fana Mokoena ... Govan Mbeki
Thapelo Mokoena ... Elias Motsoaledi
Jamie Bartlett ... James Gregory
Deon Lotz ... Kobie Coetzee
Terry Pheto ... Evelyn Mase
Zikhona Sodlaka Zikhona Sodlaka ... Nosekeni
S'Thandiwe Kgoroge S'Thandiwe Kgoroge ... Albertina Sisulu
Tshallo Sputla Chokwe Tshallo Sputla Chokwe ... Oliver Tambo
Sello Maake Ka-Ncube Sello Maake Ka-Ncube ... Albert Luthuli (as Sello Maake)


Nelson Mandela is a South African lawyer who joins the African National Congress in the 1940s when the law under the Apartheid system's brutal tyranny proves useless for his people. Forced to abandon peaceful protest for armed resistance after the Sharpeville Massacre, Mandela pays the price when he and his comrades are sentenced to life imprisonment for treason while his wife, Winnie, is abused by the authorities herself. Over the decades in chains, Mandela's spirit is unbowed as his struggle goes on in and beyond his captivity to become an international cause. However, as Winnie's determination hardens over the years into a violent ruthlessness, Nelson's own stature rises until he becomes the renowned leader of his movement. That status would be put to the test as his release nears and a way must be found to win a peaceful victory that will leave his country, and all its peoples, unstained. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of violence and disturbing images, sexual content and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Naomie Harris has said that portraying Winnie Mandela was the most difficult challenge of her career in that she had to inhabit up to 7 different complex characters that comprised the woman. See more »


When Nelson Mandela is released from prison on 11th February 1990, there is a Mercedes W140 waiting which was first manufactured in August 1991. See more »


Nelson Mandela: I have walked a long walk to freedom. It has been a lonely road, and it is not over yet. I know that my country, was not made to be a land of hatred. No one is born hating another person because the color of his skin. People learn to hate. They can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart.
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Featured in 71st Golden Globe Awards (2014) See more »


Daddy Wami
Composed by Ntemi Piliso
The original recording performed by Piliso Ntemi's Alexandra All Star Band
Under license from Gallo Record Company
Courtesy of Gallo Music Publishers
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User Reviews

A truly educational film.
16 December 2013 | by richieandsamSee all my reviews


The timing of this movie was a big coincidence. The movie is being released just as Nelson Mandela died. I don't even know if he got to see the final product.

This film is about Nelson Mandela. The former South African president. The man who changed the world by fighting for equal rights for black people. Nelson spent 27 years in prison because he was fighting for his beliefs.

The movie is an educational experience. I knew about Nelson Mandela a bit before watching the movie. The man is an icon and inspiration to millions around the world, but I will admit to not knowing too much about the full story. This film showed me what he was fighting against and fighting for. The man went through so much and lost so much of his life in jail.

The violence through the film was harsh and horrible to watch, but not because it was gory… but because you knew that these events actually happened. Nobody should have to go through this kind of treatment all because of the colour of their skin.

The acting was amazing throughout the movie by everyone. I honestly feel that this film could win Oscars. Idris Elba played nelson Mandela through the years. He was very convincing and did a brilliant job at portraying the man himself. Naomie Harris played Nelson's wife, Winnie. Naomie was probably the best actress in the movie. I actually felt bad for Winnie. She was such a strong woman and went through so much. She stuck by Nelson and their beliefs and got punished for it for many years. Winnie deserves a film all about her. I also felt very sorry for their children. They saw so much violence and mistreatment. The whole film was very horrible to watch, but to be honest I am glad they showed us. What I liked also was the fact that they used real footage through some of the movie. You actually saw news footage of the riots and violence that went on.

The one bad thing that I can say about this movie is the makeup. It is amazing how far the effects have come in the movie business. They can make a car turn into a robot and make it look real, they can blow up a building and make it look real, they can do pretty much anything they want and it can look realistic… but they can't make a young man look old without the prosthetics looking plastic. Honestly, the makeup when Mandela was old looked bad. You could tell that he was wearing plastic make up. It didn't ruin the movie, but it was quite bad.

I really enjoyed the movie and I loved the photos that they showed of the real Nelson Mandela through the end credits. It really made the point seeing the photos of the real people going through what you have just seen acted out on screen.

Nelson Mandela. R.I.P.

I will give this film 7 out of 10.

"It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die"

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Frequently Asked Questions

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UK | South Africa | France


English | Afrikaans | Xhosa

Release Date:

25 December 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom See more »


Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$84,283, 1 December 2013

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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