The Color of Freedom
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Though August's film is inspired by the life of a man who guarded one of the most important political figures of our time, the story of "The Color of Freedom" is not exactly about Nelson Mandela (played by Dennis Haysbert). It is more about James Gregory himself and his family - his wife (Diane Kruger) and their children - and the spiritual transformation James goes through. The story is told against the background of modern South African history, but its perspective is always that of James Gregory.
"The Color of Freedom" can be seen as a portrait of a man caught between his ideal and reality, or family and establishment. Superior officers don't like the idea of a warden talking friendly with the prisoners, much less reading Freedom Charter in secret. While watching the film, I thought his friendship with Nelson Mandela could easily jeopardize James's position and James would have to pay the price of his spiritual freedom, but ... well, I cannot disclose the plot, which I think is not very dramatic. But you may find it differently.
Dennis Haysber is surprisingly good as Nelson Mandela and Joseph Fiennes did a great job, actually his career-best acting, as the protagonist.Read more ›
Nelson Mandela (Dennis Haysbert) was convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment on the desolate Robben Island for his non-violent attempts to end racism in South Africa, attempts that eventually resulted in work stoppages and resistance movements that moved the articulate, well-educated lawyer Mandela into the realm of activism. While on Robben Island he was guarded by one James Gregory (Joseph Fiennes), a pro-apartheid, cruel prison employee who was assigned to Mandela as a spy and censor because of Gregory's knowledge of the local language Xhosa (learned from his childhood when his best friend was a black boy named Bafana). Gregory lives on the island with this wife (Diane Kruger) and children and his commitment to his family provides a stark contrast to his hatred of his black 'Kaffir' prisoners: his involvement with the pro-apartheid status is strengthened by his direct communication with Intelligence in the cities of South Africa where his censored information from the prisoners leads to definitive capture and 'disposal' of the blacks.Read more ›
He has over the years taken on quite significant projects often being asked to put highly acclaimed literature to the screen and in doing so struggled to find a balance allowing both commercial success and critical acclaim. I am not privy to whether this movie succeeded in either department which in fact is a relief as it enables one to give a less subjective review.
The movie depicts the growing relationship between a common white prison guard and the politically imprisoned Nelson and Mandela. The movie claims to be based on a real story and while it is not for me judge exactly how accurately portrayed it is or how many facts were truly available to build it on it indeed was more than a pleasant watch.
The story covers more than 30 years of South African and World history and shows the personal transformation the guard goes through from being a one-sided racist to a more complex character as history unfolds. While I by no means will claim to be a capacity on the apartheid regimes eventual fall I assume that the journey he and his wife goes through is reminiscent of many white South Africans in the period.
The movie depicts quite graphically the horrible doings of the apartheid regime but also render the viewer hope for a better tomorrow and shows that over time reason and justice will prevail and that human nature does have it within itself to overcome even the biggest hurdles.
For me this was both an informative and entertaining movie that does not leave the audience after it is over.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good story, well-told. Not sure how accurate this film is but it comes across as authentic.Published 4 months ago by Windomn
Great movie it showed you that Mandiba had people who cared for him on both sides of the color line.Published 7 months ago by Kenny Peaches
Let me start by saying that I don't see myself as a move critic in any way. However, I liked this move very much and could see no reason not to give it 5 stars. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Dan of the Highlands
What a great story of two men with human souls, consciousness and humility.Published 12 months ago by Sylvia McNeal
I like the movie very much and I glad that I got it.
Very good movie. It goes hand and hand with Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom movie.Published 14 months ago by Abena Abena