British actor Idris Elba who acts as Nelson Mandela got an eight-minute standing ovation at the Tiff film festival.
‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’, based on Nelson Mandela’s autobiography which was published in 1994 had its Gala World Premier at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September. This South African film was direct-ed by acclaimed English film director Justin Chadwick and the screenplay was written by William Nicholson. Justin Chadwick was born in Salford, England, and graduated from the University of Leicester.
At the very first press conference held in July, I added ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ on top of my must-see priority list. The Press and Industry show for the film was scheduled for the first Saturday afternoon of the festival. Unfortunately, it was a gloomy and rainy day and I thought of starting early to watch another film at 1p.m. By the time I reached my destination I was drenched and late for the other film which started at 1 p.m. I reached the destination at 3 p.m. to join the lineup to watch ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ which was to start at 3.45p.m. I didn’t see any lineup near the theater and asked a volunteer whether they had changed the location.
Then she said, “They are already in.” When I entered the theatre more than half of the seats were occupied. (550-seat theatre). All the seats were filled up long before 3.45 p.m
A scene from the film.
At the beginning the film which is set in 1948 South Africa Nelson Mandela practices as a lawyer. I was very keen to watch his family life rather than political life. I have read that his first marriage ended because his first wife, Evelyn Mase who was a nurse, wanted Mandela to select either their marriage or politics. After heated arguments over his choice of politics Mandela beats his aggressive wife who tries to stop him from being engaged in politics. When he comes back Evelyn had already left to live with her brother and his son.
Mandela goes to see his mother and she too blames him for put-ting the family at risk. I believe, any mother would never blame Evelyn for leaving Mandela who is beginning his battle against South Africa’s apartheid regime. Nelson Mandela’s first marriage lasted from 1944-1958.
In 1958 he married Winni Madikizela (Naomi Harris), an activist who joined Mandela for his many battles against the apartheid regime in his native country.
I found it very difficult to watch a massacre scene which killed 69 people including women and children. Just after that scene the film stopped at 4.15 p.m. due to un-avoidable reasons.
The next day after the World Gala Premier the acclaimed British actor Idris Elba who plays the role of Nelson Mandela appeared on stage to an 8-minute standing ovation for his natural and cinematic performance as the great African Leader who won the Noble Prize for Peace in 1993. ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’, produced by Anant Singh, will be released in theaters in Canada and U.S.A at the end of November.