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34 of 36 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 4 months ago by Close Range.

versus
5 of 67 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars TERRORIST ! ! !
Responsible for the deaths of 100's of innocent men, women, and children [one of whom was unborn] TERRORIST !!! ROT IN HELL !!!
Published 2 months ago by Voice Of Freedom


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34 of 36 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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful stuff but left me wanting more, 21 Jan 2014
By 
Valerie J. (West Yorks, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom [DVD] (DVD)
Little Nelson Mandela was given the name 'trouble-maker' by his father but all he wanted to do was to make his family proud when he grew up. And he did. He became a lawyer and hoped one day to be wealthy and influential but his goal changed when he was approached by members of the African National Congress, fighting for the same equality and freedom enjoyed by white South Africans. While Mandela (Idris Elba) resisted joining at first, more and more oppressive and restrictive laws targeting blacks only made him change his mind. An articulate and educated speaker, he soon attracted the attention of hundreds of black civilians, as well as the fear and hatred of the white authorities. Charged with terrorism, instead of receiving the death prison which would have made Mandela and fellow political prisoners martyrs, they were imprisoned for life. Who could have guessed that one day he would be freed and elected President of South Africa, a South Africa where apartheid had been abolished?

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013) is based on the best selling book Long Walk To Freedom While I haven't read the book, the movie left me wanting more. I wanted more detail about his long years held prisoner, about the treatment he received during that time, how he coped with such appalling conditions for the longest part of 27 years. I wanted to know more of the behind-the-scenes pressure on the authorities to release him, how he managed to be a political influence even from behind bars, and the extent of his wife, Winnie's (Naomie Harris), involvement in the Soweto riots and his release. I wanted to know about more about what was going on amongst the white leaders, why he was offered his freedom, (which he initially turned down), what influences caused that. It has been said in another review that the riots in Soweto were influential in his release yet there is little or no mention of that in the movie.

At times people speak of Nelson Mandela as if he were a saint but he was foremost a man and I think that the movie doesn't completely demonstrate his inner strength, or that he was an astute lawyer with the calculating mind of a politician, more than capable of manipulating his situation and fighting for his cause. The movie left me wanting to know more, to learn, and that isn't a bad thing.

VJ - Movies and Books World
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars YOU ALONE ARE SMALL. YOUR PEOPLE ARE MIGHTY,, 22 Dec 2013
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom [DVD] (DVD)
The film covers from the time Mandela (Idris Elba) was a child entering manhood to his election. It touches on problems in his personal life, including infidelity. It touches on tire necklaces. It ignores much of the pressure brought on by the international community.

I liked the acting. At 2 1/2 hours, the film weighs on you as you watch it. Mandela in prison struggling to get long pants while international boycotts go unmentioned. Granted this was not a documentary about the movement, but a bio of Mandela. Still I felt his significance on the world front was diminished. From a human point of view, I liked the film "Winnie Mandela" with Jennifer Hudson better than this one.

The theme, You alone are small, your people are mighty, was mentioned a couple of times, but the film didn't make any great lengths to demonstrate it. A better theme would have been one of forgiveness, something mentioned in the film. Mandela's involvement in the 1995 Rugby World Cup I think would have made a better ending, driving home the point of unity and forgiveness.

Parental Guide: No sex, people undressing as if to have sex. No nudity, prison men in underwear. Maybe an F-bomb of two, hard to tell with accents. 3 1/2 stars
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mandela - an END to RACIAL SEGREGATION in South Africa, 7 Jan 2014
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Wow! What a great deep moving film this is. The journey of a young man trying to put a stop to apartheid that had taken place for many years. Well acted and well executed throughout the whole film. Very thought provoking and very much clutches at the heartstrings. I for one welled up with emotion as the film progressed. This film offers a strong glimpse as to what it must have been like being imprisoned for so long and constantly being teased and tormented by the prison officers and Nelson Mandela very rarely buckling under the strain, eventually leading to some kind of mutual respect from both sides. Idris Elba comes across very well as Nelson Mandela, and supporting cast very much add to the spirit of the film.Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom [Blu-ray + UV Copy]
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Biography of a truly Heroic man., 1 Jan 2014
By 
Beanie Luck Spud (Cotswolds) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom [DVD] (DVD)
What a truly incredible film.

This depicts Mandela's life from when he was a child right up to the day he was elected president of south Africa.

There is a lot of information in this film that i did not know about Mandela before.

He started work as a lawyer, defending black people against whites in court.

His reputation was so incredible he was approached by 2 men and asked if he would be prepared to join a political activist group to help the blacks gain freedom against the whites.

He accepts. This group was the ANC.

At 1st the whole premise of the group was to stand up to the white power and fight back, by not using their buses and going into white areas and demanding the same treatments as whites.

Then by law all black men, women, and children had to carry a pass at all times otherwise they were beaten and arrested.
Mandela frustrated by the slowness of response causes uproar by burning his pass in front of white policemen and hundreds of other blacks do the same. He at this point becomes the leader of the ANC.

Some people will now consider what Mandela did as Terrorism, i believe he was a Hero, yes he ordered the bombing of buildings, on the order that they were empty, and yes innocent people died, both black and white alike, but Mandela never ever killed one person himself, not ever, he didnt believe in killing.

If you disagree then think about this, if a member of a political party orders a bomb to be set off to kill the enemy and innocent ppl get killed, is that terrorism ? If so every single prime minister, king, queen and president in the entire world is also a terrorist. And most famous historical figures from history.

He is chased for years by the police and is eventually caught and sentenced to prison.

Whilst in prison however he argues with Winnie a lot about the direction she is taking the ANC, he manages to get long trousers for all the prisoners by being helpful and polite and in the later stages of his prison term he is actually taken out of prison to meet the then south african president who begs him for help in creating peace as there is civil war.

Not only does Mandela agree to that peace treaty, he is then conditionally released and causes that peace to take place and is then elected president of south Africa.

There are some people who are always going to believe that Mandela was a bad man, i however am not one of those people.

I think he was an outstanding heroic leader of his people and should be remembered as such.

Idris Elba was astounding in his portrayal of him and i sincerely hope he wins the Oscar for Best Actor, because he was incredible.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and truthful, 8 Feb 2014
By 
This review is from: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom [DVD] (DVD)
This is a movie that tells that truth about Nelson Mandela, as far as anyone can at this stage in history. It shows the man as a complex human being, torn by conflicting desires and - in his early years at least - as an alpha male whose ambition leads him to into sexual conquest and violence. Idris Elba gives a monumental performance in which he has to age physically and mature emotionally and intellectually. He does both pretty convincingly. And he sounds just like Nelson Mandela, as well as having his size and physical impressiveness.
Because the early parts of the film need to cover a lot of history quickly, one needs to concentrate to keep up and occasionally, I was slightly bored with the narrative - sex, violence and more of the same. However, once it got into its stride and was able to concentrate on events in more detail, it was gripping and pretty powerful. One began to understand and respect Mandela's greatness as a leader and as a man, not merely surviving but triumphing over events that would have destroyed many of us. Hia imprisonment was not merely a loss of freedom, but a loss of any rights as a human being. His renunciation of violence and revenge and the importance of his persuading his fellow black South Africans to do the same were powerfully shown. By the time, at the end of the movie, he found himself the leader of the nation, with his erstwhile enemies treating him with profound respect and courtesy, one celebrated his achievement. and felt his triumph. Marvellous!
Having seen this film, I felt that I understood the history of South Africa better than I had ever done before. I am glad I have the opportunity to watch it all over again, to absorb all the things I missed first time around.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars... Noble and well-intended but ultimately by-the-numbers biopic, 6 Jan 2014
By 
Paul Allaer (Cincinnati) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom [DVD] (DVD)
"Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" (2013 release from South Africa; 139 min.) is the movie interpretation of Nelson Manela's 1995 autobiography of the same name. An introductory voice-over from Mandela (played by Idris Elba) stating the "my father had given me the name troublemaker" is never explained nor explored. and instead we are almost immediately thrown into Mandela's private law practice as a 24 yr. old in Johannesburg in 1942. So much for understanding Mandela's background or upbringing. The movie provides a parallel chronicle of Mandela's family life and political rise. Even though controversial for much of his life (up until becoming the beloved elder statesman in the early 90s), there is only one hint in the entire movie of Mandela as less than a saint (when we seen him cheating on his first wife and then beating her when denying the affair). The movie dutifully documents the 27 year prison term, and Mandela's subsequent release in 1990 and becoming South Africa's President in 1994.

Couple of comments: first and foremost, given the immense popularity of Nelson Mandela and his incredible life story, I was surprised how little emotional pull this movie has, despite its noble intentions. It simply came across as a by-the-numbers biopic without much cohesion or vision. The only time I felt emotionally connected/involved in the movie was when Mandela, then in prison on Robben Island, gets a visit from his now 16 yr. old daughter, whom he last saw when she was 5. Second, I couldn't help but be struck by the fact that every single white person (man and women) in the entire movie up until near the very end is portrayed as an abusive fascist pig, and I do mean EVERY SINGLE ONE. Third, let's give proper credit to the acting performance of British actor Idris Elba, portraying Mandela over a timespan of 5 decades. It is near impossible to portray such an iconic figure with credibility but Elba somehow manages. Fourth, without being disrespectful, I can only imagine the imaginary high-fives that took place at The Weinstein Company, given the timing of Mandela's passing away, literally within a week of the movie's official release, thereby significantly increasing the attention to this movie. Harvey Weinstein couldn't have scripted it or timed it better himself. Lastly, there is a bunch of great African music throughout the movie, as well as more 'traditional' songs like Bob Marley's cover of "War" and U2's new song, "Ordinary Love", which over the movie's closing credits (the soundtrack is available here on Amazon for anyone interested).

The movie came out 2 weeks ago here in Cincinnati but due to the holidays I only had a chance to go see it this weekend. The late matinee screening where I saw this at was not particularly well attended, and given the less than robust word of mouth this movie has generated, and the apparent lack of Oscar potential but for Elba's performance, I don't see this movie becoming the box office hit that one might've expected from a movie like this. Bottom line: "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" is noble and well intended, but regretfully falls short of expectations and feels like "just another" by-the-numbers biopic that fails to surprise or captivate.
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5 of 67 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars TERRORIST ! ! !, 22 Jan 2014
This review is from: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom [DVD] (DVD)
Responsible for the deaths of 100's of innocent men, women, and children [one of whom was unborn] TERRORIST !!! ROT IN HELL !!!
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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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