We saw the movie Invictus yesterday. This movie about a small segment of Nelson Mandela’s life starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon and directed by Clint Eastwood, had all the makings of a very good movie.
Interesting that there is nothing about Nelson Mandela in our old World Book Encyclopedia (last copyright date 1985). That is telling. Mandela spent most of his young adulthood in prison for fighting Apartheid. Once released, he led the movement for voting reform to allow all races to vote in political elections. This movie begins with the South African presidential election, and he becomes the first black president of South Africa. I thought that an interesting parallel to our own first black president.
The movie takes place in the early nineties and especially the 1995 World Cup Rugby tournament in South Africa. The movie had a lot of rugby playing as the backdrop for healing. Evidently the team was an example of Apartheid, mostly white players with one black player. The team went from being unpopular to being counted on to bring not only a team together, but also a country. Mandela saw the impact of the World Cup on the World and used his power and the team’s skills to remove the walls of color. He influenced the team’s captain to share his vision.
I liked the movie and the message, however I would have liked to see more about Nelson Mandela’s life. If you read in between the lines and scenes you did get that he was lonely, sad, and compassionate. He saw a world of fear, unrest and conflict and wanted to heal it in some way. His healing mission took him away from his family, as happens often with humans on the path to enlightenment. The bigger picture, the larger world, their huge vision of healing, enhances a feeling that the world is their family and their own family will have to survive without them. If family members share in the larger vision, perhaps later they can see that their parent offered something greater than creating a nuclear family but rather creating a world where families are united. Mandela taught love, forgiveness, letting go of fear, and motivated others to think beyond their own body. But in an effort to heal the world in his way, he was also calling out to be forgiven and to be loved.
This movie stimulated me to want to read more about this man. He is now living quietly in retirement.
The title of the movie was based on the poem Invictus.