Mandela

  • 1997
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Biography, Documentary

The first hour of Jo Menell and Angus Gibson's comprehensive biography of Nelson Mandela offers not only a portrait of the man behind the near-myth, but a fascinating glimpse of black life in pre-apartheid South Africa. The film uses incisive interviews and rare archival footage to illustrate Mandela's origins as a member of the Xhosa tribe and his apprenticeship...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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The first hour of Jo Menell and Angus Gibson's comprehensive biography of Nelson Mandela offers not only a portrait of the man behind the near-myth, but a fascinating glimpse of black life in pre-apartheid South Africa. The film uses incisive interviews and

rare archival footage to illustrate Mandela's origins as a member of the Xhosa tribe and his apprenticeship as one of the first black lawyers in South Africa's history. Following his conspicuous association with the African National Congress and his participation in underground, armed responses to

the murderous policies of apartheid, Mandela was sentenced to life in a hard-labor prison. From this point forward, the film becomes a rather conventional -- though still informative -- recap of more recent events. They include second-wife Winnie Mandela's own, often controversial, rise to power;

Nelson's 1990 release; and his continuing struggle toward a one-man,one-vote majority government, which culminated in the dismantling of apartheid and Mandela's 1994 inauguration as South Africa's first black president. The film's excellent soundtrack, featuring the music of the Manhattan

Brothers, the Special AKA and Brenda Fassie, is a bonus.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: The first hour of Jo Menell and Angus Gibson's comprehensive biography of Nelson Mandela offers not only a portrait of the man behind the near-myth, but a fascinating glimpse of black life in pre-apartheid South Africa. The film uses incisive interviews a… (more)

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