Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Meet the Cast of FX's 'American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson' (First-Look Images) Meet the Cast of FX's 'American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson' (First-Look Images) Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch a Clip From Ethiopia's First-Ever Cannes "Official Selection" - Coming-of-Age Drama 'Lamb' Watch a Clip From Ethiopia's First-Ever Cannes "Official Selection" - Coming-of-Age Drama 'Lamb' Watch Grace Jones’ “Banned” Citroën CX TV Commercial Watch Grace Jones’ “Banned” Citroën CX TV Commercial David Oyelowo on the Craft of Acting & Advice for Young Actors David Oyelowo on the Craft of Acting & Advice for Young Actors BET Adds 2 New Original Movies + New Series, and More to Its Summer Lineup BET Adds 2 New Original Movies + New Series, and More to Its Summer Lineup Official First Look Images from Detroit-Set indie drama ‘Wolf Who Cried Boy’ Official First Look Images from Detroit-Set indie drama ‘Wolf Who Cried Boy’ 'Girlhood' Is Now Streaming on Netflix. We Spoke to the Director About Race, Gender & the Universality of the Story 'Girlhood' Is Now Streaming on Netflix. We Spoke to the Director About Race, Gender & the Universality of the Story Morgan Freeman's Bass Reeves Project Finally Gets a Lift, Thanks to HBO Morgan Freeman's Bass Reeves Project Finally Gets a Lift, Thanks to HBO First Look at CBS' 'Rush Hour' Series + Official Synopsis First Look at CBS' 'Rush Hour' Series + Official Synopsis What Did You Think of 'Bessie' After Last Night's Premiere? What Did You Think of 'Bessie' After Last Night's Premiere? New York Women in Film & Television Now Accepting Applications for Its Four 2015 Funds for Women Filmmakers New York Women in Film & Television Now Accepting Applications for Its Four 2015 Funds for Women Filmmakers 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Nelson Mandela Is 95 Today... A Brief Look At Past & Upcoming Films On His Life

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act July 18, 2013 at 10:34AM

Today in history... July 18th, 1918, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, anti-apartheid activist and later the first South African president to be elected in a fully democratic election, serving from 1994 to 1999, was born in Mvezo, a village in the district of Umtata, in Eastern Cape province of South Africa.
0
Mandela

Today in history... July 18th, 1918, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, anti-apartheid activist and later the first South African president to be elected in a fully democratic election, serving from 1994 to 1999, was born in Mvezo, a village in the district of Umtata, in Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

Happy 95th birthday Mr Mandela, or should I say Madiba; Needless to say, he's lived quite a lengthy and involved life.

A life that has been, and will continue to be the subject of scripted films and documentaries.

Great black actors like Sidney Poitier, Dennis Haysbert, Morgan Freeman, David Harewood and most recently Terrence Howard have all played him, whether in projects that were specifically centered around him, or in which his wife, Winnie Mandela, was the focus.

However, in looking over all those films - even those in which his story was the highlight, the narrative always included his relation to some specific white man - in Mandela and de Clerk (Poitier & Michael Caine); Goodbye Bafana (Haysbert and Ralph Fiennes as a prison guard responsible for Mandela, and the relationship they had); and Invictus (Freeman and Matt Damon as captain of the South African Springboks rugby team).

So really, I can't say that any of them has focused solely on Mandela's life, absent of any white co-pilot; meaning, there hasn't been what I'd call the definitive Nelson Mandela film or TV series (and I'm talking strictly about scripted narratives here, not including documentaries), which, if you think about it, is a shame, given the global awareness of this icon of a human being.

Hopefully, that will be corrected this year, as Idris Elba's Long Walk to Freedom, which is said to be a definitive work on the life of Nelson Mandela, will open in theaters on November 29, courtesy of The Weinstein Company, likely as one of its Oscar contenders. 

MandelaLong Walk to Freedom, directed by Justin Chadwick, highlights Mandela's early life, education and 27 years in prison. 

Today would be a good day to release the film's first full trailer (we've seen a teaser thus far).

It's a film that we've curiously seen very little of, as it's all been kept under-wraps.

Naomie Harris co-stars as Winnie Mandela in a film that producers have said will have an "epic sweep," from a script written by GladiatorShadowlands and Les Miserables writer, William Nicholson.

South African stars Tony KgorogeRiaad Moosa, Zolani MkivaJamie Bartlett, Lindiwe MatshikizaDeon Lotz and Terry Pheto, round out the cast.

Also worth noting, last summer, Out of Africa Entertainment, Blue Ice Films and Left Bank Pictures began development on a 6-part TV miniseries titled Madiba, on the life of Nelson Mandela - the way that I think biopics are better handled (a miniseries spread out over several hours, instead of a stuffed, but still unfulfilling 2-hour movie).

For source material, the producers are looking directly to the man himself, using Mandela's 2 books, Conversations With Myself, and Nelson Mandela By Himself; a significant change, considering that past films in which Mandela was a character, were based on books written by others.

No word yet on where that miniseries project stands currently.

Idris' project is based on Long Walk to Freedom - the autobiographical work also written by Nelson Mandela himself, which highlights his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison.

So, 2 major scripted Mandela works to look forward to that actually focus on the man primarily.

Happy 95th birthday Madiba, even as he remains hospitalized, after weeks battling critical illness.

This article is related to: Birthdays, Idris Elba, Naomie Harris


Shadow & ActNewsletter