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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars YOU ALONE ARE SMALL. YOUR PEOPLE ARE MIGHTY,
The film covers from the time Mandela (Idris Elba) was a child entering manhood to his election. It touches on problems in his personal life, including infidelity. It touches on tire necklaces. It ignores much of the pressure brought on by the international community.

I liked the acting. At 2 1/2 hours, the film weighs on you as you watch it. Mandela in prison...
Published 8 months ago by The Movie Guy

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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worthy but Superficial Account of a Great Man's Life
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...
Published 6 months ago by Dr. Laurence Raw


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20 of 24 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
By 
Dr. Laurence Raw (Beckenham, Kent United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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. Nor does the film acknowledge the contribution made by other members of the ANC (African National Congress) - for example, Oliver Tambo. Viewers expecting to learn something about South African history since 1945 will be sadly disappointed.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars YOU ALONE ARE SMALL. YOUR PEOPLE ARE MIGHTY,, December 21, 2013
The film covers from the time Mandela (Idris Elba) was a child entering manhood to his election. It touches on problems in his personal life, including infidelity. It touches on tire necklaces. It ignores much of the pressure brought on by the international community.

I liked the acting. At 2 1/2 hours, the film weighs on you as you watch it. Mandela in prison struggling to get long pants while international boycotts go unmentioned. Granted this was not a documentary about the movement, but a bio of Mandela. Still I felt his significance on the world front was diminished. From a human point of view, I liked the film "Winnie Mandela" with Jennifer Hudson better than this one.

The theme, You alone are small, your people are mighty, was mentioned a couple of times, but the film didn't make any great lengths to demonstrate it. A better theme would have been one of forgiveness, something mentioned in the film. Mandela's involvement in the 1995 Rugby World Cup I think would have made a better ending, driving home the point of unity and forgiveness.

Parental Guide: No sex, people undressing as if to have sex. No nudity, prison men in underwear. Maybe an F-bomb of two, hard to tell with accents. 3 1/2 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Upsetting as it should be., April 3, 2014
I remember the feeling I got when I watched Shindler's List. I knew it would be good and would be upset. Well it was good and I was upset. This time I think I was more upset actually because I just adopted a beautiful African American baby boy and I saw a 7 year old that looked kinda like him get shot in the back in this movie. Actually I saw a bunch of people get shot in the back. Although actually there were lots of people in the race wars in South Africa who did get shot in the back actually more than the front.

I think one of the best things about the movie is how it illustrated that the South African people really had no choice. They ere being killed, raped/tortured etc. just as much if they decided to fight back or not and the film really showed that fighting back was really just plain logical.

This is a film everyone should see.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Changed my opinion, May 28, 2014
This film changed my thoughts about Nelson Mandela and not in a positive way. I guess I will have to read the book to see what his actual words and thoughts were, but this movie leads me to the opinion that Mandela was basically a nobody (albeit a caring nobody) who was selected and supported by the white establishment to ease the tensions of the oppressed blacks who finally were rising up in protest against the rich white land owners. Mandela appears to have been pushed into the lime light to gain notoriety and fame and yet even today the blacks in SA remain poor while the whites have retained their lands and their power. I thought Invictus was a much better movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom quick movie review, June 2, 2014
What’s it about?

Based on Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, the film follows his life from birth through to repeal of Apartheid and his being the first democratically elected president of South Africa.

What did I think?

This film revealed to me how ignorant of Apartheid I really am, doing so in a way that left me wanting to educate myself more on this horrific period in human history. A beautifully constructed experience that simultaneously highlights all that is good, and the potential for evil within the human condition.

I have nothing more to say on this film other than go see it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult story, March 23, 2014
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Missed seeing this in a theater so ordered this DVD to have in our entertainment collection at our condo to have on hand for family to view when visiting and looking for something to do. I haven't gotten to see it yet but feel it depicts a historical condition that is important for future generations to know about. I am assuming it is reasonably correct in its depiction of apartheid and Mandela's stride to free South Africa from it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking, June 1, 2014
Great acting from Idris Elba and Naomi. The film was enlightening, especially towards the end before Mandela was released from prison, it's surprising to learn how s*** scared the government were about the possibility of a black uprising happening. The film depicted key moments in Nelsons life, not an easy biography to film in such short time, but nicely portrayed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great., April 5, 2014
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This is an interesting movie, as Mandela is an icon around the world. His life story is fascinating. South Africa is also a beatific ill country. The acting in the film was average. Idris Elba who plays Mandela was outdone by the woman who plays Winnie Mandela, in my opinion. He was ok but she was more believable. Still it was an entertaining film and enjoyed it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and true!, May 11, 2014
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I spent time doing business in South Africa around the time that Nelson Mandela's party came to power, so I knew the back story of Mandela' parallel path to Rev. King here in the US. I have also visited Robben Island where he was imprisoned and the conditions there were true to what the movie presented. The acting was terrific in this movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, horrible experience with Amazon, May 25, 2014
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Great history of the man and the rebirth of a nation.

The Amazon playback, however was terrible -- after pausing about 2/3 of the way through the movie, it froze every few minutes. Amazon needs to improve its buffering technology to deliver a better viewing experience. Next time, I'm gong to try UVerse or RedBox.
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