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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you only know the story of Nelson Mandela then you only know half the story. More movies should be made about this woman.
"She spent nearly 500 days in prison, 400 of them alone in solitary. She was exiled, they harassed her, they nearly killed her. Her contribution to the struggle is beyond calculation." This movie follows the life of Winnie (Hudson) from birth to her life with husband Nelson Mandela (Howard) and beyond. It shows her transformation from shy student to activist. I...
Published 8 months ago by Tony Heck

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wait for clearance rack.
Lord knows I love Jennifer Hudson but I need someone to contact her. I need my $9.99 plus tax deposited back in my bank account. Jennifer Hudson is good actress, but this movie should have aired on Lifetime. Terrance Howard as Nelson Mandela was so distracting at times - I wanted to scream.. stop paying "Q" aka Quentin.

I can see why Winnie Mandela was...
Published 7 months ago by Orsayor Simmons


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you only know the story of Nelson Mandela then you only know half the story. More movies should be made about this woman., November 26, 2013
By 
Tony Heck (Belgrade, MT USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Winnie Mandela (DVD)
"She spent nearly 500 days in prison, 400 of them alone in solitary. She was exiled, they harassed her, they nearly killed her. Her contribution to the struggle is beyond calculation." This movie follows the life of Winnie (Hudson) from birth to her life with husband Nelson Mandela (Howard) and beyond. It shows her transformation from shy student to activist. I hate to admit it but I knew next to nothing about this woman before I started the movie. For that reason going in my first thought was, why make a movie about her when Nelson is much more interesting. After watching this my thoughts changed to why don't they make more movies about her. I'm not sure how accurate this movie is but I found it to be very interesting and really made me feel for her. Seeing a woman who was shy and had her life ahead of her end up being broken by seeing the way her life was affected by her husbands sentence gives you conflicting emotions. On one hand you want her to do the things she is doing while at the same time you know she should stop. The end of the movie is so bittersweet that it's hard to feel happy about what happened. The only really bad thing I have to say about this is that it really had the feel of a Lifetime movie. Overall, my feelings went from why a movie about her to why aren't there more movies about her. I highly recommend this. I give it an A-.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Excellent Movie Relevant to These Times, September 20, 2013
This review is from: Winnie Mandela [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I saw this film in a local theatre a couple of Saturdays ago after reading a terribly negative review in the NEW YORK TIMES by Stephen Holden the day before. He could find nothing much to like about the movie: The director Darrell J. Roodt was rushed, whatever that means. Terence Howard has too little screen time and is merely a "stick figure." Winnie Mandela's role in the events surrounding the death of a teenage boy "are not explored." The white characters are basically caricatures. And finally the reviewer did not like the song Jennifer Hudson sings with a back-up choir at the end of the film although , as I recall, he does not state his reasons for his distaste.

I am so glad I paid no attention to the review. I went to the movie because I like both Mr. Howard and Ms. Hudson as actors and I am fascinated by the story of Nelson and Winnie Mandela. (I will never forget hearing Mr. Mandela-- I believe Ms. Mandela was in attendance-- speak in Atlanta in 1990 soon after his having being freed from all those years as a political prisoner.) I left the theatre wondering if Mr. Holden and I saw the same movie. First these two actors give commanding, riveting performances. And while it is not a requirement to play a historical figure, both these Mr. Howard and Ms. Hudson resemble Nelson and Winnie Mandela, particularly Mr. Howard to Mr. Mandela, something that adds to their performances. (Think Daniel Day Lewis in "Lincoln.") I fully expected to see five minutes of the character Nelson Mandela. Wrong. Even though he is sentenced to prison at Robben Island, he remains very much a part of his wife's life, at least for a time, and in the movie. And I ask, can a stick figure weep? The movie is called "Winnie Mandela"-- based on a biography-- after all. Wouldn't we perhaps expect to see more of Ms. Mandela than her husband?

Some of the white characters certainly are haters of blacks if that is what the reviewer means. On the other hand there are other people-- I'm thinking now of a white woman who hires Winnie for a position-- who are sympathetic toward her and her cause. I still do no know why I should not like the song that ends the movie. And it did not appear to me that the director dances around Ms. Mandela's involvement in the death of the young man perceived as a traitor. I thought Mr. Roodt lets the viewer see the transition that takes place in Ms. Mandela. She is portrayed not as a cardboard character but as a complex human being. And I'm not sure how most of us would react if a spouse spent 27 years in prison for believing in freedom for all people.

Finally the gorgeous panoramic scenes reminded me that, yes, South Africa is beautiful.

I'd give this film an A-. It was a good way to spend two hours of my precious life.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars STRIKE A WOMAN AND YOU STRIKE A ROCK, December 1, 2013
This review is from: Winnie Mandela (DVD)
This is an interesting film which shows the complexity of the character of Winnie Mandela. Once Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, Winnie took over the movement, crossing the line and doing things, for better or worse, that Nelson wouldn't dare do. One can debate if her militant stance helped or hurt the liberation of South Africa, but it was after decades of peaceful measures failing that lead to a more radical approach.

The film contains the expected grand speeches, self sacrifice, tear jerking moments with appropriate sound track. It leaves criticism of Winnie up to the audience. I felt the acting, which was good, needed to be taken up a notch as it seemed to lack a degree of expected passion. There also seems to be a disconnect between the effect of the movement, world pressure, and the decision to free Mandela and end apartheid which would normally climax a film. Even as the film was about her, these events which she dedicated her life to should have been better presented.

Worth viewing.

Parental Guide: F-bomb. No sex or nudity.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wait for clearance rack., January 18, 2014
This review is from: Winnie Mandela (DVD)
Lord knows I love Jennifer Hudson but I need someone to contact her. I need my $9.99 plus tax deposited back in my bank account. Jennifer Hudson is good actress, but this movie should have aired on Lifetime. Terrance Howard as Nelson Mandela was so distracting at times - I wanted to scream.. stop paying "Q" aka Quentin.

I can see why Winnie Mandela was upset with the producers of this movie. After watching this movie, I can't wait until Long Walk to Freedom (starring Idris Elba) comes to dvd.

Hopefully, someone will make another Winnie Mandela movie that's more in-depth. Sorry T.D. Jakes presents - you get a C- on this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars watch it !!, December 22, 2013
This review is from: Winnie Mandela (DVD)
a very good movie a must watch,the cast did a wonderful job.i went out an brought the movie so i can watch it over and over again...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Give history, and freedom, a chance, and see this..., November 18, 2013
By 
Robert Sercombe (Grand Prairie, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Winnie Mandela (Amazon Instant Video)
I'm in love with Jennifer Hudson, but saw this with expectations greatly lowered following the film's long time on the shelf, hostility from Winnie Mandela and her camp, and the poor reviews.

...And was surprised, righteously, more than pleasantly (owing to the subject matter): it's a fine film, much superior to the "TV-movie quality" some reviewers damned it for. There's a lot in it that simply never gets seen or heard in this country's entertainment media: the sights and sounds, accents, backgrounds, habits, assumptions, of a very foreign country, starting decades ago under a radical forced separation of blacks and whites, by the whites, in the blacks' own ancestral homeland, backed up with brutal state power. Winnie suffers in solitary confinement for months, growing slightly unhinged but never backing down from fierce resistance. The world knows this story, and the shocking lengths she and/or her camp went to defending against the state security agencies and their informers. Winnie is never fully understood, and may not be fully understandable; but the film confronts the paradoxes, suggesting explanations, after a marvelous beginning, with Winnie enjoying her life and friends and opportunities; taking a sharp turn after being romanced by the bold idealist Nelson Mandela, giving her all for him and his movement (which didn't turn violent until the state crackdown did, when blacks could not legally become political actors, much less voters; and were relegated to the least productive, and most resource-poor "homelands" reserved for them without their consent). In the end [SPOILER ALERT], her sacrifice wins much less than she'd hoped, as the controversy over her own camp's brutalities persuades Nelson to divorce her publicly. After nearly three decades forced apart, she could not share or savor the triumph of the movement and the transformation of a major continental power.

Terrance Howard is superb as Mandela, nailing Mandela's accent down to its subtleties, acing a long Swahili monologue, projecting both passionate leadership and cerebral composure in the worst circumstances (the Sharpeville massacre)...while Jennifer gives a beautiful, deeply-felt performance as Winnie, whether glamorized for publicity, sweet in her student innocence, steely in the faces of wickedly harsh police, or wide-eyed and joyous (!) when, with a possibly weakening grip on reality, or adjusting as best she can, she sings to the ants in her prison cell.

I won't mention the cumulative effect of a hundred gorgeous close-ups of Ms. Hudson on this besotted fan.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Review of Winnie Mandela: A Life; starring Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard, February 3, 2014
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This review is from: Winnie Mandela (DVD)
I thought the storyline was almost identical to the "Mandela : Long Walk to Freedom" movie. Jennifer Hudson's performance was
riveting. I don't understand why this movie did not make it into theaters. People should be aware of what Winnie Mandela
went through while being isolated for months in the local jail. Forcing her not to bath and to wear the same nightgown she
had on when she was arrested, will break your heart. What she did to keep her sanity is amazing. The police did not break
her. Instead the female jailer who was forced to abuse her went into a screaming rage. Understood. One would need to be
a sadist in order to perpetrate such inhumane treatment on another human being. People should not miss Hudson's performance.
I highly recommend this movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this movie enough to share my copy with friends ..., July 6, 2014
By 
Wanda M. Green (Bronx, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Winnie Mandela (DVD)
Other than Dream Girls I have not been overly impressed with Jennifer Hudson as an actress until this movie. She does a decent job in her performance as Winnie Mandela and it was interesting to see Winnie's side of the story being told. Terence Howard did a fair job as Mandela but does not top Idris Elba in his portrayal. Terence is handsome enough to resemble a young Mandela but does not capture the essence of the man as well as Idris does. I enjoyed this movie enough to share my copy with friends to view.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening, June 27, 2014
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This review is from: Winnie Mandela (DVD)
Jennifer Hudson helped show a side of Winnie Mandela I had not previously seen: courageous, victimized, dedicated, devoted, and in some ways tragic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!!, June 23, 2014
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This review is from: Winnie Mandela (DVD)
I watched the movie Nelson Mandela and it sparked my interest of Winnie. I was blown away with this version of her life.
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Winnie Mandela
Winnie Mandela by Darrell Roodt
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