'Mandela' comes highly recommended

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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On Christmas Day, the much-anticipated Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom was released to the general public. The film, like the book of the same name, is the story of Nelson Mandela's journey from the jailhouse to the state house. It was a huge hit at the Chicago International Film Festival in October where this viewer attended a crowded screening. Retired serviceman Albert Mitchell said, "I cried with pride seeing this wonderful film." 

As I walked out of the theater, I shared with Chicago International Film Festival board member Randy Crumpton why I thought this might be the best of the 183 films in the whole festival. It's directed by Justin Chadwick, who previously directed The Other Boleyn Girl. It stars Idris Elba, who was absolutely stunning in his subtlety and complexity (at least to me, having interviewed Mandela at the Washington Press Club in the early '90s). 

Similarly, Naomie Harris, another black Brit actor, was superb as Winnie Mandela. I overheard a few female attendees argue that Harris, a Pembroke College (Cambridge) graduate, was actually better. 

Clearly, both were convincing at making attendees repeatedly chant the biopic's Xhosa/Zulu theme of "Amandla" (power).

Stan West

Oak Park

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Posted: December 31st, 2013 3:22 PM

While it might have been perceived as the best movie of the festival, it undoubtedly had the highest budget ($35M) of all the films. Not exactly a fair comparison. A more accurate assessment can be found on rottentomatoes.com where it has garnered a mediocre 55% rating. A true Op'er and those who truly value their entertainment $ would endorse the true indie projects in the festival, including Nebraska (92% approval).


Posted: December 31st, 2013 3:06 PM

Might I suggest seeing this film at the AMC Showplace Cicero 14 conveniently located on Mandela Road in Cicero.

Albert Mitchell from Country Club Hills  

Posted: December 31st, 2013 1:15 PM

This film was so powerful I had to see it three times. A documentary could not had done a better job than the Mandela film.

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