Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom (12)

In a key scene in this biopic of the South African activist and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, a judge tells him he’s being sentenced to life imprisonment so that he can’t become a martyr. Mandela says he’s willing to die for his cause, and the judge replies, “I will not give you that satisfaction.” Poignantly, the Oswestry Film Society is showing this film exactly ten years to the day since Mandela’s death – not in prison, but after being released (after 27 years, as South Africa’s white supremacy tried to avert civil war), refusing to take a vengeful path but chasing peace, and being elected as his country’s president in the first all-race elections. The film presents Mandela as both a larger than life heroic figure and at the same time a human being struggling with an almost unimaginable burden. Idris Elba’s towering performance lends Long Walk To Freedom a “Shakespearean breadth – his Mandela is an intensely emotional man whose body quakes in moments of sorrow and whose face is stricken with a bone-deep anguish – the film is deeply stirring.” (New York Times)

A must-see on the big screen.