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Endgame PG-13

4.2 out of 5 stars (32) IMDb 6.3/10

Patriot, Terrorist, Negotiator, Peacemaker South Africa, 1985. While the country is under siege, sanctions are biting, Mandela's imprisonment is an international cause celebré, and the ANC guerrilla terrorist attacks are escalating. Every day the country is more ungovernable as it plunges towards the apocalypse of a race war. In saner moments everyone knows the vile apartheid regime is doomed but will the transition to democracy be peaceful or bloody? Working for P.W. Botha as a somewhat Machiavellian Head of Intelligence, Dr. Neil Barnard opens furtive talks with imprisoned Nelson Mandela. But lesser known are the secret talks that take place in the unlikely setting of a rural English manor house, arranged by a British businessman and sponsored by a mining company. Both sides have everything to win or to lose, including their own lives. The stakes are immense, the secrecy imperative. Botha learns of the UK talks and if the demise of apartheid is inevitable he intends to control the endgame by employing the tactics of divide and rule. Against all the odds, through volatile discussion, intrigue and breakthroughs, the unimaginable is achieved - a precious arena of frail trust between the two warring parties.

Starring:
William Hurt, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Runtime:
1 hour, 41 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Pete Travis
Starring William Hurt, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Supporting actors Jonny Lee Miller, Mark Strong, Clarke Peters, John Kani, Derek Jacobi, Timothy West, Matthew Marsh, Mike Huff, Stephen Jennings, Patrick Lyster, Ramon Tikaram, Danny Scheinmann, Porteus Xandau, Amelia Bullmore, David Henry, Trevor Sellers, Moshidi Motshegwa, Bo Petersen
Studio Daybreak Pictures
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This is a PBS/BBC type (101 minutes..shown on TV in 2 parts) miniseries about the behind the scenes negotiations and political struggle by both Whites and Blacks opposed to the Aparthide Policy of the South African Government. Stars William Hurt as a college professor and Oiwetel Ejiofor as Nelson Mandela. Sometimes the plot seems like a spy novel with secret meetings, political assassinations, bombings, eavesdropping by security forces, and coded messages. Based on fact and realistically presented, this is a very good movie and well worth seeing. Get your popcorn BEFORE the start of the movie and don't miss a single second..!
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The politically driven "Endgame" helps to elucidate a period of time in South Africa's history when apartheid was coming to an end. A well meaning endeavor featuring a top notch cast, "Endgame" inevitably scores more points for its intentions than for its intrinsic entertainment value. With Chiwetel Ejiofor, William Hurt, and Jonny Lee Miller in principle roles, this film--which originally aired on PBS here in the states--did get nominated for best Made-for-TV movie at this year's Emmy awards. But while I did admire the effort, my personal knowledge of the circumstances and the players (or lack thereof) left me somewhat unconnected from the film as something other than a history lesson. If you are a neophyte when it comes to the political climate and the influential figures in South Africa circa the late eighties, there are certainly more accessible films available (might I suggest "Mandela and de Klerk" starring Michael Caine and Sidney Poitier?). But the more advanced knowledge you have about the subject matter, the more you'll be able to appreciate the intricacies of "Endgame."

An intriguing and intimate look at the behind-the-scenes machinations that brought about Nelson Mandela's release from prison as well as the beginning of the end to apartheid, "Endgame" is structured dramatically as a series of meetings. Ejiofor represents the African National Congress as Thabo Mbeki and Hurt is Professor Will Esterhuyse, an increasingly disillusioned member of the Afrikaner Apartheidists. Brought together by Miller, representing British Industry with a stake in South Africa's future, the screenplay leads us through a series of negotiations that brought these disparate viewpoints into alignment.
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Format: DVD
ENDGAME, as written by Paula Milne and directed by Pete Travis, is a thinking person's film. The subject is the ongoing crises of the Apartheid in South Africa (here during the years 1985 - 1990, with after film commentary to 1999) and the extended secret meetings between the Apartheid regime as controlled by President Botha (Timothy West), those meetings held between the African National Congress represented by Thabo Mbeki (Chiwetel Ejiofor) with prisoner Nelson Mandela (Clarke Peters) as the heart of the blacks and the increasingly disillusioned Afrikaner Apartheidists lead by Professor Will Esterhuyse (William Hurt) convened by a British representative Michael Young (Jonny Lee Miller) acting as spokesman for his entrepreneurial boss Rudolf Agnew (Derek Jacobi) of a major British industry vested in South Africa. The talks are wired by Botha's intelligence officer Dr. Niel Barnard (Mark Strong) and level of intrigue is high. The message of the film is the struggle and final victory of democracy and the end of Apartheid in South Africa, and while the cerebral discussions by this fine group of actors is illuminating, the film gains its power from fast shots of the conditions in South Africa at the time, including rioting, terrorist acts, loss of families, and the ever present intrigue and danger surrounding those men attending the secret meetings.

The supporting cast (especially John Kani as Oliver Tambo, the venerated life long friend of Mandela) is exceptionally strong, but in the end it is the unexpected fine acting of William Hurt and the always excellent Chiwetel Ejifor who remind us how small scaled dramas can have far more impact than the big epics we are used to enduring. This film is especially excellent for informing the public about the ins and outs and meanings of the South African Apartheid and why the ending of that evil regime lighted the fuse for so many other important sociologic changes. Grady Harp, June 10
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Format: DVD
This is one of the most interesting movies I've seen in a long time. It is highly suspenseful
and tells the story of the secret meetings that eventually led to the end of Apartheid.
You won't be sorry you took the time to see this film. Gives one hope that peace can be negotiated in even the most difficult conflicts. Should be required viewing in any history class regarding S. Africa; Casting - outstanding!
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Format: DVD
"Endgame," a British film that premiered on PBS' "Masterpiece Contemporary" but also played briefly in theaters in America, provides us with a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the waning days of South African Apartheid.

The time is the 1980s. While political prisoner Nelson Mandela languishes behind bars and violent uprisings rend the fabric of the nation, the white-minority Afrikaner government led by President P.W. Botha has declared the ANC (the African National Congress) to be an illegitimate terrorist organization run by communists and therefore unworthy of a seat at the table in any negotiations concerning the role of blacks in the future of South Africa. Into the breach stride a number of crucial players who are attempting - at great personal risk to themselves and their families - to bring the two opposing sides together through secretive talks being held at an estate in the English countryside. Present at that event are Michael Young (Jonny Lee Miller), a British businessman whose company has vital interests in South Africa and who sees the eventual abolishment of Apartheid as a good and necessary thing on both a professional and moral level; Thabo Mbeki (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a representative from the ANC; and Willie Esterhuyse (William Hurt), a philosophy professor who seems to see both sides of the issue and can therefore serve as an honest broker between the two factions (though the government also sees him as a potentially useful spy for its own side). Mandela (Clarke Peters) and Botha (Timothy West) also appear as characters, with the latter trying to convince the former to denounce the ANC's acts of violence, using subtle tactics of persuasion to do so.
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