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President Obama to Host White House Screening of 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom'

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood November 5, 2013 at 3:47PM

President Obama has a special White House screening of "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" planned, with an impressive guest list: stars Idris Elba and Naomie Harris, as well as Nelson Mandela's daughters Zindzi and Zenani.
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Idris Elba in "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"
Idris Elba in "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"

President Obama has a special White House screening of "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" planned, with an impressive guest list: stars Idris Elba and Naomie Harris, as well as Nelson Mandela's daughters Zindzi and Zenani.

Back in June, Obama visited Robben Island, the facility where Mandela was imprisoned for almost two decades, and which is depicted in the film (trailer here).

TWC president and Democratic political power-player Harvey Weinstein is naturally a proud papa, stating to the Hollywood Reporter: "Knowing what a strong relationship President Obama has with President Mandela, it's an honor for this film to be shown at the White House."

The film, helmed by Justin Chadwick ("The Other Boleyn Girl") premiered out of TIFF to wan reviews but much praise for Elba's performance. It's based on Mandela's autobiography of the same title, and follows the South African leader's early life and coming of age, his education and time spent in prison before becoming president. Weinstein pulled it out of screening circulation this October in order to tweak the final edit. 

It hits theaters stateside November 29; it screens at AFI FEST on November 10.

This article is related to: News, President Barack Obama, Harvey Weinstein, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Idris Elba, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.