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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, detailed and faithful telling of a great story.
This much-awaited film has taken years to bring to screen. The makers decided that they would rather not make the film at all, if not done as accurately as possible. Years of painstaking research and attention to detail went into this movie before the cameras even started filming. Sets such as the Soweto street where the Mandela family lived, the Palace of Justice in...
Published 9 months ago by Close Range.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More Bio Than Pic
Mandela - Long Walk to Freedom (2013) directed by Justin Chadwick

A biopic that was more bio than pic. The great man’s life is of course inspiring enough without needing much drama added, but I was again reminded in watching this that real life is much messier than stories. Mandela’s story is already more mythologised than understood and this film...
Published 1 month ago by Andrew D Wright


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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, detailed and faithful telling of a great story., 30 Nov 2013
This review is from: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom [DVD] (DVD)
This much-awaited film has taken years to bring to screen. The makers decided that they would rather not make the film at all, if not done as accurately as possible. Years of painstaking research and attention to detail went into this movie before the cameras even started filming. Sets such as the Soweto street where the Mandela family lived, the Palace of Justice in Pretoria, and the maximum security jail on Robben Island, are so well made that it is difficult to believe that these were not shot on location. The film traces Mandela from boyhood, through to his inauguration as President, in May 1994. Unfortunately,some periods are glossed over while others are paid more attention. The strain on Mandela and his family is a thread that runs throughout.

The result is moving and beautifully rendered, but does not shy away from the horror of apartheid, as well as the flaws of Nelson Mandela himself. Due to the sometimes harrowing scenes, shot for the movie, or through use of actual news footage, this film is not always an easy one to experience. However uncomfortable the truth was, it forms a vital part of the story. We see verbal racial abuse in the streets, and later, brutality dealt to both Nelson and Winnie Mandela. It is interesting how each handles these abuses.

The film opens with valleys bathed in golden light, and there is much beauty throughout the long (2.5 hours) movie. The times are perfectly replicated, with clothing, cars, streets, and buildings all made very specific to the era being shown, right down to an old SA railways logo not seen for decades, in Johannesburg station. Idris Elba and Naomie Harris are spot-on as Nelson and Winnie. Despite not being South Africans, they do not put a foot wrong. There are a few factual inaccuracies, such as the playing of a Miriam Makeba song during a scene set in 1942, well before Makeba was known, and the colour of the Toyota Cressida in which Mandela was driven from Victor Verster prison was a creamy yellow, not navy blue as shown here. These are small faults though.

The film is a triumph on many levels: As a telling of history, as a love story, and about what helped make Mandela become the great leader he was. "Long Walk to Freedom" is definitely worthy of its great subject.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More Bio Than Pic, 3 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom [DVD] (DVD)
Mandela - Long Walk to Freedom (2013) directed by Justin Chadwick

A biopic that was more bio than pic. The great man’s life is of course inspiring enough without needing much drama added, but I was again reminded in watching this that real life is much messier than stories. Mandela’s story is already more mythologised than understood and this film didn’t really do much to add detail beyond the patina of saintliness the great man has. Whilst is showed the horror of apartheid, the Soweto massacre for example, grittily enough, it glossed over some of the more humanising elements of Mandela’s story.

Mandela was portrayed as a legend in his own life-time but the terrible misery of those days in prison, the hopelessness and the pain he must have suffered weren’t well conveyed. In their place we saw an almost inhumanly serene Mandela, being all Yoda and Buddhist-like, which of course he certainly became in later days, but his low points, his humanity, was lost in this portrayal. The fires of bitter experience which forged his ultimately pragmatic decision to focus on forgiveness and reconciliation and renounce the armed struggle were not well conveyed in this film, which was mostly about adding gloss to an already shiny memorial (it was rushed out within weeks of the announcement of the man's death.)

For my generation Mandela was a mysterious figure, glimpsed via the images on colourful posters of him at his 1960s trial until he quite literally walked to freedom in February 1990. I remember watching it on TV and being aware that this was the pavement of history landing loudly in front of my eyes. The complex machinations around Winnie Mandela and the notorious football team and necklace burnings are covered briefly in this film, but it is so desperate to give a generous and supportive account of the man that again I think opportunities were lost.

In the end it was entertaining and informative about one of the most important and iconic struggles of the 20th century. Mandela did become a legend in his own life-time and he did have such amazing Gandhi-like vision of how to forge a new South Africa from the hatred and violence of apartheid. A true visionary and a perfect example of what a human can accomplish when driven so passionately by their dreams that they embody them everyday, no matter what personal sacrifices they have to suffer. This film though unnecessarily sanitised an already very saintly man, a screenplay with an eye to being a definitive and glossy history rather than a portrayal of the human beneath those smiling, benevolent eyes.

(** Two Stars)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'A STORY OF COURAGE AND DETERMINATION', 2 May 2014
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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The film is faithfully adapted from 'Nelson Mandela's' account of his experiences.
The story takes us from his childhood into manhood, tells of his loves and failed
early marriage, and on to his romance and marriage to 'Winnie'
Still a young man he becomes interested in 'Civil-Rights' movement A.N.C. his
life up to that point, as was the case with the majority of 'Native' South Africans,
was as a second-class-citizen under the rule of a 'White' Government who
enforced 'Aparthied'
He soon became seen as a leading figure in the movement and was seen as a
threat to the ruling authorities.
Following a campaign of disruptive activity 'Nelson' along with several other members
of the movement were sought, captured and brought to trial.
The sentence could easily have been 'death' however probably because of world
opinion, and not wishing to have the prisoners seen as Martyrs they were condemned
to life imprisonment.
They were taken to 'Robben island' in 1964 and had to tolerate inhuman living conditions,
hard labour, and abuse at first from the guards.
It was never intended that the prisoners would ever be released, however after 18 years
they were moved to a prison on the mainland where, conditions were a little better.
World-Wide opinion couple with trade sanctions eventually persuaded the government
of South Africa to reappraise the situation.
'Nelson Mandela' had served some 27 years of imprisonment, now the authorities were
talking to him.
Although he had many bitter thoughts and memories, 'Nelson Mandela' knew he would
have to approach the future with caution and send out a message of conciliation.
This is a story as written by 'Nelson Mandela'
He truly was a remarkable human being, this film is so worth taking time out to watch.
We might feel we know the story, the film takes us to a new level of understanding.
Great performance from 'Idris Elba' as 'Nelson Mandella'
Special Features-
Commentary with director - 'Justin Chadwick'
'Mandela' the leader we knew, the man we didn't.
Behind the scenes featurette.
Production Design -Costumes and make-up.
The music and Sound - Special Effects - Theatrical Trailer
Feature - Audio Description.
Run Time - 146 minutes
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great film, 30 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom [DVD] (DVD)
What a great movie so glad I bought it very pleased with the price made the weekend entertaining would recomend
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film, 21 Jun 2014
By 
Mr. W. S. M. Dean (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom [DVD] (DVD)
Having visited Robben Island 'Cape Town where Mr Mandela was held prisoner found this film to be of great interest. Idris Elba played his role brilliantly. An all round brilliant film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Film, 24 Jun 2014
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I have read the autobiography twice and this film is very true to the book. Idris Elba was brilliant in it as he sounded just like Nelson Mandela. This is a film I will watch again
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amandla!, 29 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom [DVD] (DVD)
Great film illustrating the life of the greatest leader of our time - good to show young people that there is always a need to challenge and defy conventional wisdom.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Walk to Freedom, 23 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom [DVD] (DVD)
DVD arrived in perfect condition and on time. Excellent film - would definitely recommend viewing. Idris Elba's acting is excellent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent account of Mandela's life., 23 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom [DVD] (DVD)
I thought it was an excellent account - particularly of his early life. I thoroughly enjoyed it, as did my husband.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 30 Jun 2014
By 
Mrs. S. Aldworth "Sue" (Somerset, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom [DVD] (DVD)
Great film.
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Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom [DVD]
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom [DVD] by Justin Chadwick (DVD - 2014)
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