directed by Clint Eastwood
(Warner, 2009)

It takes a true leader to understand and empathize with a former enemy. When Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) took power in South Africa, he didn't change the name of the national rugby team, the Springboks, despite the racially charged feelings it raised among his countrymen. Instead, he embraced them and encouraged their captain, Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon), to win the 1996 World Cup.

It was a truly daring move, which many of his own people initially opposed. But Mandela understood the pride of the nation and managed with this gracious gesture to bring the people together.

Director Clint Eastwood did his usual amazing job with Invictus. A fellow audience member who recently returned from a visit to South Africa was amazed at how accurately Mandela's cell was depicted. In addition, both Freeman and Damon did some of their finest work as former enemies brought together to unite a nation.

This is an inspiring performance and one that deserves to be seen.

review by
Becky Kyle

8 October 2011

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