This documentary about Nelson Mandela, nominated for an Oscar Award in 1996 (Best Documentary Feature), is the official film biography of Nelson Mandela, the first democratically elected president of the ethnically united South Africa. The film touches on Mandela’s childhood, family, education, and his long struggle to gain freedom for all the various ethnic groups in South Africa, including his experiences on the Robben Island prison.
“A vibrantly presented and emotionally charged portrait of the dynamic African leader, this needed tighter narration to close informational gaps. For instance, there is very little mention of F.W. de Klerk, although as the corecipient of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize (along with Nelson Mandela), he most certainly figured greatly in the peaceful passing of the political baton. It may leave you with a few questions but otherwise captures Mandela’s remarkable spirit. It follows him from his early days and tribal education through his work with the African National Congress to his election as Africa’s first black president. Produced by Jonathan Demme, this wisely includes poetry of Africa, as much a part of Mandela’s story as his own inner strength.” (Rochelle O’Gorman)