Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom: Great Man, Mediocre Movie

by Ethan Alter November 27, 2013 11:03 am
<i>Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom</i>: Great Man, Mediocre Movie

A modern-day hero whose life is still a source of inspiration, Nelson Mandela has been the subject of numerous films over the years, in which he has been portrayed by such actors as Dennis Haysbert (Goodbye Bafana), Morgan Freeman (Invictus) and Terrence Howard (Winnie Mandela). The majority of these films have opted to laser in on a specific period of his life or, as in the case of Winnie Mandela, present his experiences through another person's eyes. What makes the newest entry in this burgeoning biopic sub-genre, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, somewhat unique is that it takes a pillar-to-post approach, packing his entire life into two-and-a-half hours. Director Justin Chadwick's ambition appears to be nothing short of creating the Gandhi or Malcolm X of Mandela movies: the definitive dramatized account of this extraordinary man's biography.

Indie Snapshot: Winnie Mandela

by Ethan Alter September 6, 2013 5:55 am
Indie Snapshot: <i>Winnie Mandela</i>

Originally shot in 2011 and sneaking into theaters before the November release of 2013's higher-profile Nelson Mandela biopic, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom -- starring Idris Elba as the iconic South African civil rights crusader -- Winnie Mandela purports to be a life story of Mandela's now ex-wife, chronicling her personal bravery and public activism during her husband's long incarceration. But even though it's her point of view, the movie is still very much his story. Despite the title and the presence of an Oscar-winning actress (Jennifer Hudson) in the central role, Winnie Mandela turns out to be only moderately interested in the woman for bears that name.

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