South Africans Embrace “Mandela” Critics Cry Propoganda

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by Greg B.

According to Reuters the recent release of the film Mandela in South Africa has an expected warm and cold acceptance.

“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”, which stars Idris Elba opened in South Africa with high emotions and critics not pleased with the facts in the movie.

The film which is two hours long, attempts to capture 60 years of the freedom fighter’s life, including 27 years in prison. This coupled with the struggle to show the positives and setbacks in Mandela’s life make it difficult to touch every aspect of it.

The independent producer Anant Singh from South Africa was given the rights to the movie more than 15 years ago. Singh and British director Justin Chadwick who made the movie tried to focus on apartheid and the toll that it took on Mandela’s family and life.

Meanwhile, the critics believe the movie was merely more of the same ACA (African National Congress) propaganda that often surrounds Mandela.

“By failing to deal in any significant way with Mandela’s politics and refusing to spend any time examining what it was about him that propelled him into such a visible role in the liberation movement, the film does itself an insurmountable disservice,” wrote reviewer Tymon Smith.

However, some South Africans believe that the movie was uplifting and as one movie goers Seedat Tahera stated “It brought me great calmness and peace. I feel very loved and fortunate to be a South African.”

Mandela himself understood the pedestal that he was placed on in his country and around the globe, and the awkwardness that surrounded it. Mandela stated “One issue that deeply worried me in prison was the false image that I unwittingly projected to the outside world; of being regarded as a saint.”

I think naturally there would be some detractors to the film given the fact that the movie is stretched out over 60 years and seeks to pinpoint a man’s life who lived larger than life.

The movie is timed given the current condition of the former president, and a need to release the biopic that represents his life while he is still alive.

Critics were existent during Mandela’s active years so in a sense they fit well in the commentary of the movie’s review.


Greg B., is a financial professional and native Ohioan who is the writer here. I am an avid reader, coffee connoisseur and dog lover. 

8 Comment

  1. I look forward to seeing the movie. When a man such as Mandela, who has experienced and accomplished so much is captured in a story line, seems that anyone should know that it is impossible to encapsulate his entire life. In many ways he is bigger than life. He has contributed so much to mankind.The haters of today are probably offspring of yesterdays haters. Still talking loud, with no substance, and not owning up to the fact that it is with themselves that the problem lies.

  2. A must see movie. Anyone thinking rationally knows there are no saints here on earth! But we all should try to be the best we can be. But realizing none of us are perfect. He is an “above” great man, warts and all.

  3. I am glad that a film was made that may approach the savagery of apartheid and that those of the Western World who benefit.

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