Mandela (1997)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Nelson Mandela was born in the remote South African village of Qunu; an excellent student, Mandela went on to become a lawyer and then a political activist with the African National Congress, a political party who sought to bring down South Africa's Apartheid regime, in which the minority white population denied the most basic political and civil rights to the nation's black citizens. Mandela's vocal opposition of the South African government (and his refusal to repudiate violence as a response to the brutality inflicted upon blacks) resulted in his spending 27 years at hard labor in prison -- and in time led to his release, the legitimization of the ANC, and his election as South Africa's first black president. Mandela is a documentary that traces Mandela's story from his birth to his current status as a respected political leader, featuring interviews with Mandela and his contemporaries and newsreel footage that records the turbulent past of both Mandela and his nation.
Documentary , Special Interest
Directed By:
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In Theaters:
Palm Pictures


Critic Reviews for Mandela

All Critics (2)

The importance of the events in Mandela's life have seemingly constrained the filmmakers and made some of the key moments feel heavy handed. Yet even so, the film does manage to convey the notion that a single human being can change the world

Full Review… | January 31, 2014
Urban Cinefile

It's a powerhouse of a film: informative, powerful, moving, involving and inspirational with Idris Elba outstanding in the title role

Full Review… | January 31, 2014
Urban Cinefile

Audience Reviews for Mandela

Young boys were taken to circumcision school Mandela tells the tale of Nelson Mandela from his early childhood in an African tribe, to the death of his parents and adoption, to his transition through the education system and early odd jobs, and finally his rise through the legal system and as a political figure. Mandela tells an amazing tale that includes interviews with the man and an inside glimpse to his personal life and relations with his family and country. "He was a black man with an office and a typist." Angus Gibson (Cross Roads and Heartline) and Jo Menell collaborate to deliver Mandela. The storyline for this picture is fascinating and well told. The political views of Mandela are well documented; however, the story of his upbringing, the expectations placed on him, and his perspectives were fascinating. I was also shocked by the depiction of his relationships, or lack there of, with his family including his wives and children. "I answered in the language of stone." I found this movie interesting and a well told story of a man that sacrificed a lot for the benefit of many. I found it interesting how much Mandela seemed to have in common with Martin Luther King (he actually seems like a modern day Martin Luther King). Mandela is a very impressive man that has accomplished a lot for his people. "The land shall be shared by those that tend it." Grade: B

Kevin Robbins
Kevin Robbins

The transformation of The Republic of South Africa from a brutal Apartheid state to a democracy with full participation of all its citizens was the culmination of many years of struggle by the disenfranchised. Nelson Mandela played a major role in the restructure of his country's government, although not without personal tragedies linked directly to his political activities. There are glimpses of African tribal life against a background of breathtaking scenery. The music is both dramatic and poignant. Mandela is a true tale of triumph over evil.

Dorothy Halcomb
Dorothy Halcomb

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