Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Poster for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Winter 2014 Features series

Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 4:00pm
Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 7:00pm

Acadia Cinema's Al Whittle Theatre
450 Main Street, Wolfville, NS

Directed by Justin Chadwick

Screenplay by William Nicholson

Starring Terry Pheto, Naomie Harris, and Idris Elba

Rated NR · 2h 26m
South Africa / UK
Xhosa, Afrikaans, and English

View trailer

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

His story is epic and inspiring. Born to be a leader, Nelson Mandela was trained in law, then drawn into resistance, then politics, then elevated to a reverence that approached sainthood. His autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, charts the many struggles that took him from South Africa’s rural Cape region to armed struggle and arrest, and then to the president’s mansion as his nation’s first democratically elected leader.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom transforms Mandela’s book into a rousing, spirited film. Acclaimed British actor Idris Elba (television’s The Wire and Luther), tackles the role with gusto. From the first moment he speaks, sounding uncannily like the real Mandela, the veil of illusion slips away and we are back with the crusading lawyer as he battles South Africa’s apartheid regime, first with his new comrades in the African National Congress, and then, most powerfully, alongside his wife Winnie Mandela (Naomie Harris, The First Grader). Elba is as convincing when portraying Mandela as a young amateur boxer as he is playing him later in life, growing old in prison on Robben Island, drawing less on athletic prowess and more on the force of ideas that would eventually set him, and his country, free.

Directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl, The First Grader), Mandela is, above all, a love story, chronicling Nelson and Winnie’s passionate relationship over the decades. It is also the story of a leader who so loved his country that, through his beliefs, his actions and his example, he transformed himself into the very embodiment of its greatest hopes.

“With the magnificent Elba to anchor it, the film gradually achieves a sort of grandeur, in the manner of the hero it depicts.” (David Gritten, The Daily Telegraph)

“It is through Elba’s finely etched performance that the real thesis of the film comes to the fore: it is not (only) his seemingly superhuman fortitude, but above all else Nelson Mandela’s universally relatable core of less steely humanity that defines his heroism.” (Michael Dequina,