So how can one not like a movie about Nelson Mandela. I mean really he is a personal hero of mine. How someone could come out of imprisonment and forgive his enemies is an amazing act of grace and courage. The movie points to his forgiveness as a path to reconciliation. It also shows how he used the national rugby team to unite all people in his country. I hink it is sad but true that sports are and can be a unifying event, although I would also point out that they can also become a nationalistic event, for better and worse. I wish there could be other ways to unify people, but it is true, sports is something that can do this. Kind of weird…
I thought it poignant when asked why he was trying to placate the whites, Mandela was quoted in the movie, “the whites still control the police, the army, the economy” Mandela was far seeing with a vision of humanity that realized that real inclusive change happens slowly over time. His vision though was one where humanity could control their destiny. Each person by what they do and how they do it, creates the world as we know it. I am glad the world has a Nelson Mandela to point to as a beacon to virtue, as a beacon to what could be.
One other poignant moment for me was when the players went to give a rugby clinic in the poor section of town, and one says, “I thank God I don’t live here”….as if he had never even seen the people living in such poor conditions. It speaks to how we blind ourselves to things we don’t want to see so we don’t have to deal with them….
As far as the movie, at times it was hard at times to understand the accents, of course that could also be because I was playing with my granddaughter at the same time. Also there was a little too much rugby action at the end. They also could have spent more time explaining the rules of the game. To Americans, it really is a foreign game, so I would have liked to have understood the context of it. I really don’t see how Damon received an academy award nomination for this. He was very low key for such transformative life changing events, but maybe that’s the way it happens. It just usually is more dramatic in the movies. If I haven’t said it, Morgan Freeman was Great!! –
Here is the poem Invictus by William Henley - We cant always control events, but we can control ourselves and how we deal with events
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.