Invictus | ★★★★★★★★★

I am not sure what I can say about this great movie that would really do it justice. Here is the Netflix writeup on it:
In this drama based on real-life events, director Clint Eastwood tells the story of what happened after the end of apartheid when newly elected president Nelson Mandela used the 1995 World Cup rugby matches to unite his people in South Africa.
I think that this dialog from the movie gives you a sense of it:
Brenda Mazibuko: You're risking your political capital, you're risking your future as our leader.
Nelson Mandela: The day I am afraid to do that is the day I am no longer fit to lead.

Nelson Mandela: Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.

Etienne Feyder: When does he take a break?
Staff Member: He says he rested enough in prison.

Nelson Mandela: The Rainbow Nation starts here. Reconciliation starts here. Forgiveness starts here too.
I found myself watching this movie and longing for such a leader as Nelson Mandela to arise in America. I got to wondering if law school might be an inferior path (to 27 years in prison) to national leadership. There were several awe-inspiring scenes in the movie that left me speechless. The actions and words of Nelson Mandela simply inspired me. The movie seemed to make me a believer in great leaders again.

I have never been a fan of the Invictus poem by William Ernest Henley. A few years ago I posted An Answer to Invictus. This movie gave me a new view of the poem. Mr Mandela speaks of how this poem inspired him in prison to keep on going. When he quotes it saying.. "It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishment the scroll, I am the master of my fate - I am the captain of my soul.".. you understand that he is speaking about how he chose to forgive his oppressors. It gave me a whole new perspective on the poem.

The acting in the movie was stellar. Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon were both Oscar nominated. I loved the way that their characters interacted and how Mandela took a simple thing like Rugby and saw how it could be used to mend the schism in a broken country.

That said I have to say that the movie was a bit indulgent and could have been edited down about 15 minutes.. the Rugby games went on a bit long.. the movie was over two hours in length. Apart from that I thought that Invictus was a great movie and highly recommend it. I think that it would be a great movie to watch with a group and discuss after.

On a scale of 10 I give this movie ★★★★★★★★★


  1. Saw this on my flight to DFW in May. I was engrossed - as were my kids. We had the best discussion afterwards about apartheid and leadership. This movie is definitely at the top of my list.

  2. We just rented it, and felt the same way as you Bob... Oh my goodness ~ How inspiring. I want a man like that to lead America. Lord, raise up someone for our country!


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