INVICTUSDirector: Clint Eastwood
Writers (WGA):Anthony Peckham (screenplay)
John Carlin (book)
Genre: Biography - Drama
Release Date:11 December 2009 (USA)
Plot: Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
Invictus is an inspiring movie, especially at this time of year. Originally I had no intention of seeing the film because the trailers did not look that interesting and because I had no real idea of just who Mandela is. Of course I knew the basic outlines of his story - that he opposed apartheid, that he spent nearly three decades in a South African prison for his political agitation against the system of segregation, and of course that after his release from prison, he was elected president of South Africa.
What I was not aware of was the EXTENT to which he went out of his way not to take revenge against his former enemies, even in the face of the continued encouragement of his immediate staff to exact the revenge they wanted for their own past suffering under the apartheid regime.
Mandela's basic statement to his followers was - If I do as you ask, if I institute measures designed to bring physical and psychological hurt to the whites of South Africa, then I will be the very person that they are afraid that I will be, and our nation will never achieve unity. Now is the time to bring all South Africans, black and white , together. Now is the time to teach by example. Now is the time for forgiveness.
Throughout the film, Mandela repeats verses from the 19th cnetury poem, INVICTUS by William Ernest Henley which he read as a prisoner and which sustained him in his dark hours ....
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
The movie is played out against the backdrop of the South African Rugby team's fight to win the Rugby World Cup, showing the world that just as the players on a ball team must work and cooperate together to successfully win the game, so must the citizens of a nation cooperate and work together to successfully win the respect of the world.
I left the theater with a feeling of affection for the man and a wish to incorporate his vision into my own life.
Invicus the movie has much to teach us. I urge you to go and see it.
Oregon, OH - - December 15, 2009
Morgan Freeman ... Nelson Mandela
Matt Damon ... Francois Pienaar
Tony Kgoroge ... Jason Tshabalala
Patrick Mofokeng ... Linga Moonsamy
Matt Stern ... Hendrick Booyens
Julian Lewis Jones ... Etienne Feyder
Adjoa Andoh ... Brenda Mazibuko
Marguerite Wheatley ... Nerine
Leleti Khumalo ... Mary
Patrick Lyster ... Mr. Pienaar
Penny Downie ... Mrs. Pinnear
Sibongile Nojila ... Eunice
Bonnie Henna ... Zindzi
Shakes Myeko ... Minister of Sport
Louis Minnaar ... Springbok Coach
Danny Keogh ... Rugby President
Dan Robbertse ... Boer
Robin Smith ... Johan De Villiers
David Dukas ... Captain of 747
Grant Swanby ... Co-Captain of 747
Josias Moleele ... Face Painter
Langley Kirkwood ... Presidential Guard
Robert Hobbs ... Presidential Guard
Melusi Yeni ... Presidential Guard
Vuyo Dabula ... Presidential Guard
Daniel Hadebe ... Presidential Guard
Jodi Botha ... High School Boy
Henie Bosman ... High School Coach
Refiloe Mpakanyane ... Jessie
Jakkie Groenewald ... Johannesburg Cop
Murray Todd ... Johannesburg Cop
Japan Mthembu ... Local Cop
Albert Maritz ... Sprinbok Mranage
Sello Motloung ... Mandela's Doctor
Meren Reddy ... Minister of the Environment
Lida Botha ... Mrs. Brits
Susan Danford ... Mrs. Cole
Sylvia Mngxekeza ... Mrs. Dlamini
James Lithgow ... New Zealand PM
Malusi Skenjana ... NSC Firebird
Bart Fouche ... Prison Guard
Johnny Cicco ... Staff Member
Wayne Harrison ... Staff Member
Ashley Taylor ... Team Crew
Gift Leotlela ... Team Crew
Kgosi Mongake ... Sipho
Given Stuurman ... Township Kid
Vuyolwethu Stevens ... Township Kid
Ayabulela Steven ... Township Kid
Nambitha Mpumlwana ... Trophy Wife
Andre Jacobs ... T.V. Announcer
Scott Eastwood ... South African Springbok
Grant Roberts ... South African Springbok
Mark Bown-Davies ... South African Springbok
Dale Stephen Dunn ... South African Springbok
Graham Lindemann ... Kobus Wiese
Andries Le Grange ... South African Springbok
Clive Richard Samuel ... South African Springbok
Richard Abrahamse ... South African Springbok
Sean Pypers ... South African Springbok
Riaan Wolmarans ... South African Springbok
Ryan Scott ... South African Springbok
Daniel Deon Wessels ... South African Springbok
Vaughn Thompson ... South African Springbok
Charl Engelbrecht ... South African Springbok
Rolf E. Fitschen ... South African Springbok (as Rolf Ernst Fitschen)
Andrew Nel ... South African Springbok
Rudi Zandberg ... South African Springbok
Abraham Vlok ... South African Springbok
Zak Feaunati ... Jonah Lomu
Sean Cameron Michael ... Springbok Equipment Manager (uncredited)
Patrick Walton Jr. ... Springbok Trainer (uncredited)
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