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56 of 60 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 11 months ago by Close Range.

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5 of 5 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 3 months ago by Andrew D Wright


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5 of 5 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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56 of 60 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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2 of 2 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 100 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, touching, moving, powerful and compelling piece of film making about the great man, 1 Nov 2014
By 
Mr. P. Datta "Pritthijit" (Stockton on Tees, Teesside) - See all my reviews
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is a very well delivered biographical film about Nelson Mandela. Historically, he will be remembered as a great man who touched many people hearts across the globe.The man maintained great dignity and upholded strong principles in pursuit of the long struggle to achieve freedom against the mounting brutality and cruetly that tarnished South African society. This is known as the apartheid. There are enduring qualities I strongly admire about the man.Sadly, he passed away last year. The whole world paid homage to a great man.

The movie chronicles the early life of Mandela. He stood up for the rights for of the people. He campaigned for equal rights of black people through the streets.The man served a long sentense in prison for 27 years, committing acts in overthrowing the government. The government divided the country through segregation. Some of, the scenes are distressing, distrubing and hollowing. It shows the scale of the problem affecting the nation at the time. Nation affected at an civil unrest during Mandela's imprisonment. Numerous campaigns launched calling for the release of Mandela, as the country was in turmoil. The movie depicts the injustice and bruality shown by the government and prison authorities.The movie provides an excellent potrayal of Mandela surfacing as a political activist and as a family man. The strain took a toll in family life. It cover the key aspects of the man life including the eventual release of the man buidling a better future. The man showed no remorse and intent on revenge. The country needed to be reunited desperately, as division of the country is broken down and to create harmony in society. Violences in the streets escalated, stirring global attention. Nelson Mandela continued to campaign for peace and being elected for government

The movie is beautifully filmed and storytelling is first class. The attention to details are superb, showing the exact locations. It feels so real and believable, as if we are recapturing the life of Mandela as unfolded in the film. I found the film engaging, moving and touching. Idris Elba and Noami Harris got a strong feel for the characters and plays the parts superbly. Fundamental questions are raised about equality, injustice and humanity facing the country. It is one of the best films about the great man, who leaves behind a powerful legacy and will be sadly missed. I was totally mesmerized by the film and felt tears flowing to my eyes. It deserves full marks, for delievering a powerful and compelling piece of film making. I would recommend the film if you express an interest in biographical film making.
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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
(REAL NAME)   
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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 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
5.0 out of 5 stars A long pastiche, 20 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom [DVD] (DVD)
It is impossible to document Mandela's whole career, especially when not in prison, but this does a good job through what is really a series of pastiche scenes.
Some actors are born to play certain characters (Gandhi, Simon Ward as Churchill etc) and Mr Elba may well fit in to that category. he certainly does a very good job with the body movements and the voice.
Good 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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