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Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom [Blu-ray/DVD/UV] (2014)

Idris Elba , Naomie Harris , Justin Chadwick  |  PG-13 |  Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Idris Elba, Naomie Harris
  • Directors: Justin Chadwick
  • Writers: William Nicholson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • DVD Release Date: March 18, 2014
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,169 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

This epic motion picture spans the extraordinary life story of South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela (Golden-Globe winner Idris Elba), spanning over seventy years, from his childhood in a rural village through his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa, including his struggle against apartheid and 27 years in jail.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worthy but Superficial Account of a Great Man's Life January 30, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
At the heart of Justin Chadwick's film lies a wondrous central performance by Idris Elba. Although facially unlike Nelson Mandela, he captures the great man's mannerisms and speech-patterns with uncanny accuracy. Throughout his long life, depicted in MANDELA from his humble beginnings as a lawyer to his final accession to the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa in the mid-1990s, he comes across as a devoted family man, who is nonetheless devoted to the nationalist cause. When faced with a choice between domesticity and politics, he inevitably chooses the latter option. This might not necessarily be the best for him, but it is something that he believes he must do for the cause of the African National Congress. Although not by nature a violent man, Elba's Mandela is nonetheless pragmatic; as the Sixties wear on, he understands that violence is necessary in order to advance the cause of African equality in the apartheid regime. While this performance stands out in the film, the handling of post-1945 South African history is superficially handled. We are not told why the apartheid regime came into being in the late Forties; nor does the film explain how and why it fundamentally differed from the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. For the first half-hour, the film adopts a comic-strip approach to history; a series of apparently disparate sequences follow one another with little concern for historical coherence. It is only when Mandela is sent to Robben Island for life imprisonment that the structure becomes more comprehensible. When Mandela is released from prison, the film once again fails to provide explanations for the sudden outbreak of violence in the townships following his release, when it seemed that African was fighting African as well as the white minority. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This biopic traces Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela from his days as a young attorney in the late 1940's until his election as president of South Africa in 1994. As the apartheid white minority government began an even more oppressive regime, the country's native majority begin to protest. Often in large crowds but always peaceful. When the government began to crack down on the protests, their violence increased, eventually leading to shooting non-violent protestors, including children.

Mandela (Idris Elba), along with a handful of others, become leaders in the African National Congress. Ultimately they retaliate against the government with their own brand of violence. Mandela and his cohorts are eventually caught and imprisoned for life, initially on a remote island off the coast. Nelson's wife Winnie (Naomie Harris) is imprisoned herself for many months as the government increases their oppression.

Much of the film revolves around Mandela's years in prison where he begins to believe that peaceful means will eventually win out. On the other hand, Winnie's hatred of the government fuels continued violent resistance. Director Justin Chadwick ("The Other Boleyn Girl"), with a screenplay by William Nicholson based on Mandela's autobiography, does a commendable job providing scope and substance of Mandela's adult life which included many years behind bars. You can pick up where this film left off with 2009's "Invictus" if you want a double feature. Elba's performance deserves more accolades than he received during award season. He is very effective as the great world leader.

The Blu ray transfer comes from Anchor Bay and it's terrific. It comes in 1080p resolution with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Watered down Kool-aid" April 16, 2014
Although the England-born actor, producer, singer, rapper, and DJ "Idris" Elba is charismatic and talented, I think he should not have been cast in the role of Nelson Mandela, just as Denzel Washington really had no business portraying Steven Biko... As if there are no competent "black" South African equivalents.

South Africa hosts tremendously talented personas and actors --- of which, many would have delivered an astonishing "silver screen" performance that would rival their English and American counterparts. The late Henry Cele (Shaka Zulu) comes to mind, and so does the fabulously theatrically gifted and multi-talented Presley Chweneyagae (Tsotsi). Indigenous South African "blacks", or "coloreds" know their landscape, colloquial expressions and a diverse range of universal mannerisms as well as anyone. But, as usual Hollywood manipulation and politics wins their own coveted kewpie doll (Oscars) award. EISH!!

And, no matter if folks will admit it; the fact remains that many still carry thoughts that South African, or even African theater is presumptively "unrefined and rudimentary" in comparison to most Western or European film performances. Nothing could be further from reality. South and East Africa teems with a rich and vibrant cultural history of para-dramatic theater involving traditional themes of tribal "Ngoma", "Gule wa Mkulu" and "Nyau" theater, through the Anglophone oppressive / apartheid civil rule (maintaining their own theatrical art societies)... To present.

Frankly, as a "black" American, I would think (on a whole) that "blacks" would have a better understanding while exercising objectivism compared with our continuation of Civil Rights experiences within a myriad of circumstances.
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