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Films 2015 - South Africa - Mandela (aka Mandela: Son of Africa, Father of a Nation)

Mandela (aka Mandela: Son of Africa, Father of a Nation)

Director: Angus Gibson, Jo Menell, 1996

Language: English
118 minutes – South Africa / USA

The official film biography of Nelson Mandela. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

The film touches on Nelson Mandela's childhood, family, education, and his long struggle to gain freedom for all the ethnic groups in South Africa. It includes his experiences in the Robben Island prison before becoming the first democratically elected president of the ethnically united South Africa. Interviews include: F.W. de Klerk, Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela, Eugene Terre'Blanche, (Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging Party).

Film critic Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times) liked the film but felt more information should have been included, especially the motivations of F.W. de Klerk. He wrote, "The actual story of the events leading to the election is more complicated and interesting. Yes, South Africa suffered from economic sanctions. But it could have survived for many years before caving in; it forged clandestine trading arrangements with countries ranging from China to Israel, and its diamonds still found their way onto the fingers of brides all over the world. Civil unrest was widespread, but South Africa had a fearsome array of police and military forces to counter it. If white South Africa had been adamant, apartheid would still be law...None of those events are told in Mandela, which simplifies the transfer of power into a fable of black against white; it all but implies that de Klerk was unwilling to see power change hands."