If you haven’t yet watched the biographical drama Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, starring Idris Elba in the lead, now is the time to do it. The 2013 film is all set to leave Netflix this week.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is based on the autobiographical book of the same name, penned by the anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela himself.
The film explores Mandela’s life from his early days as a lawyer in Johannesburg, South Africa, to his struggle against apartheid and his eventual rise to becoming the first democratically elected President of South Africa. It delves deep into the hardships, sacrifices, and triumphs that shaped Mandela’s character and propelled him to become a symbol of hope and reconciliation for his nation and the world.
In a review of the film for BBC History Magazine, History Extra, Vincent Hiribarren, a lecturer in world history at King’s College London, wrote, “[The film] clearly depicted Mandela’s understanding of the apartheid years. Or, at least, what he wanted to let us know. As the film is not based on Mandela’s life but on Mandela’s own words, criticism levelled at Mandela’s autobiography can also be directed at the film.”.
Hiribarren gave the film a three-star rating for its historical accuracy and five stars for its entertainment value.
The role of Nelson Mandela earned Idris Elba praise, even though his casting was called out due to Elba’s (who is of Sierra Leonean Creole and Ghanaian descent) lack of resemblance to Xhosa Mandela.
Elba’s portrayal earned him critical acclaim and a nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, even though the film itself received mixed reviews.
The film was directed by Justin Chadwick, known for his work on notable productions such as The Other Boleyn Girl and Tulip Fever. The screenplay was written by William Nicholson, who adapted Mandela’s autobiography into a compelling narrative that brings Mandela’s story to life on the big screen.
The exploration of Mandela’s life and legacy in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom makes it a must-watch film for anyone looking for a start off point to learning more about the luminary.Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom leaves Netflix on June 30th.