How many more? um? How many more SA films where the Africans are abackdrop to some White hero? Isn't the story Cry Freedom, or In MyCountry etc etc, or Catch A Fire? The engineered rainbow rhetoric whichexist only only screen but nowhere in the economy of South Africa. Thestory of Africa always needs a great white hero, like Last King ofScotland. And not to mention more white directors. And they aresearching hi and low 2 find the white Tarzan in every African victory.
Film is an art but I get concerned when every film out of SA sings thesame theme. It speaks to something artificial, something socialinjustice. When did we see a film where whites didn't get let off thehook? When did we see a film where whites didn't exist?
Name a "Black film" and look behind the lens; who wrote it, whoproduced it, who directed it? Amistad , the music by John Williams, thedirector Mr. Spielberg. A Jamaican film called One Love , again thesame pattern. Tsosti a story of violence in the African communities,violence is a natural reality of South African people in Europeanperception; it sells and it feeds their image of us of being gangbangers, and semi-noble savages . It is almost impossible to consider afilm that does not include a European central figure. War Dance,singing dancing through the horrors of a genocide. The recent Last Kingof Scotland reflects this it is in the legacy of CRY FREEDOM, the titleshows the mindset behind it . I t would not be sufficient to tell thestory of Idi Amin; so infamous enough and surely notorious enoughcharacter in his own right. No, they say, this would reduce the valueof the project, in comes the European into the storyline. It isactually amazing to see Mel Gibson attempt to make a film of anon-White people without a central European character. Returning to thelikes of Richard Attenborough we cannot blame him for his bias in CryFreedom , he is by nature a European and is simply acting out hisEuropean weighted world view, avoiding Eurocentric as a term, as everyhealthy race is sensitive to his or her cultural perceptions
Invictus (it means unconquered, I had to look it up too) is a storyabout Nelson Mandela (played by Morgan Freeman) and his quest to unifyan apartheid-riddled South Africa through the game of rugby in theearly 1990s.
The story begins with Mandela's release from prison. He immediatelybecomes elected president and immediately begins work on bringing hiscountry together. And when I type immediately, I actually mean slowly.The movie drags along at a snail's pace for about an hour. For being amovie dealing with a vicious sport such as rugby, I was expecting itmove along quickly and with a lot of brute force such as I would findin a rugby match. I forgot about scrums, which can take a while toproduce any kind of action. And, this movie did exactly that.
The movie has some very strong moments though. One in particular waswhere Director Clint Eastwood took a small fraction of the people ofSouth Africa and used them to show what was happening on a largerscale. He did this by focusing on Mandela's security detail. Mandelahad rehired the old security detail (a bunch of white guys) to workwith his personal bodyguards (a bunch of black guys) to protect him.Mandela used these two groups as an example of how he wanted his fellowcountrymen to act. Eastwood couldn't show all 42 million South Africanshaving disagreements so he took eight people to tell the story ofcooperation through their actions. Great job, I get it.
So, what about the rugby? Wasn't this supposed to be a movie aboutrugby? Yes, I think it was supposed to be. It was also a movie aboutMandela's quest to bring people together. The rugby was used well, andnot knowing enough about the sport, I wasn't totally engulfed by theaction scenes. There was one scene where the South African rugby teamtaught impoverished youths the rules of rugby. Here I wish they hadcapitalized on the scene more by telling the audience what goes on in arugby match. It wasn't until the last 20 minutes where we were finallywowed with some gritty rugby action during the 1995 World Cup.
Should you see this movie? Tough question. If I say no, I go againstthe Eastwood/ Freeman establishment, which I don't want to do because Ithink Freeman should get an Oscar nod for his portrayal of Mandela. IfI say yes, I wouldn't say it enthusiastically. So I'll say this, if youwant a biopic on Nelson Mandela's life, don't see this movie; and ifyou want a rough, in- your-face rugby movie, don't see this movie. But,if you want a little bit of both, then by all means take two hours andgo see it.