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Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013)

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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.

Director:

Justin Chadwick

Writers:

William Nicholson (screenplay), Nelson Mandela (autobiography)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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 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)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | South Africa | France

Language:

English | Afrikaans | Xhosa

Release Date:

25 December 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$84,283, 1 December 2013

Gross USA:

$8,323,085

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,984,870
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was in development for many years, initially with Morgan Freeman attached to play Nelson Mandela. These plans were scuppered when Freeman chose to play Mandela in Clint Eastwood's Invictus (2009). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chelsea Lately: Episode #7.189 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Be My Guest
(uncredited)
Written by The Manhattan Brothers
Performed by The Manhattan Brothers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Dotting the i
24 January 2014 | by seshtSee all my reviews

Watched it earlier tonight. A reviewer was right when he said Chadwick had done a by-the-numbers job on it.

I am Not a fan of biopics. However, I did enjoy 'Gandhi', and, to a relatively lesser extent, 'Aviator'. Those characters too were undeniably compelling, which made the tales all the more riveting. Mandela's character is definitely one such. However, something was lost in translation when it came to filming Madiba's life's work, ironically, in the year that he was finally laid to rest.

No fault lies with the performers, but choosing to sideline a great many supporting characters and not depict the horrors of apartheid in the year of '12 years a slave' (the preview for which played before this one) seems a tad ironic, in not giving the audience something powerful to root against. I don't know if the responsibility rests with the original work itself (in terms of skimming over the details, that is), but the punch, the power, that was sorely needed to make this a rousing epic that it should aspire for, is missing. Someone needs to remake this, if possible, with the same cast, and hopefully make it more powerful/riveting. The old-age makeup on Elba also took me out of the movie multiple times. U2's 'Ordinary love' plays during the end-credits, but I don't know if the movie would have benefited more from it being played over one of the key sequences (take your pick). Perhaps Justin Chadwick was not the man for this job (He took the bite out of 'the other Boleyn girl', so that aspect's consistent enough, that did not make him suitable for this job in any case).

Having said all that, this is still a decent effort, just about right in most departments, and far better than other by-the-numbers predictable/routine fare playing at the local multiplex.


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