Tonight I saw MANDELA: Long Walk To Freedom. It’s a wonderful movie, complex on many levels. It’s a story of faith, fortitude, loyalty, commitment, frustration, love, anger, destruction. It’s about power struggles, freedom, equality, politics, morality, loneliness, disappointment, ideology, apartheid, peace, war, fear and loathing.
The scenes shot in South Africa were breathtakingly beautiful and having been there myself I appreciated the landscape all the more. The fine British actor Idris Elba embodies the character or Nelson Mandela, he walks like Mandela and he talks like Mandela. He is the central figure, central to the point of reducing the other actors to near oblivion, with the exception of Naomi Harris’ portrayal of Winnie, Nelson’s second wife. She is a strong figure throughout the movie.
This blog is not like other From My Point of View posts in that I’m not offering my opinion on much of the movie or its style. This blog post is for me, I need to confess, to apologize; While watching the movie unfold in chronological order, I was amazed and appalled at my lack of awareness at what was happening on the other side of the world. I was too busy playing tennis at the Country Club, too busy watching my kids soccer games and swim meets. I was too busy focusing so much of my life and energy on becoming a success in real estate and then too busy getting a divorce. I guess I didn’t really read the newspapers or listen that carefully to the news.
I felt like an idiot and remembered the summer Thierry spent with us. Thierry was from France and a couple of years older than Joel but he seemed about 10 years older. I remembered how he spent time at the dinner table discussing world politics with my then husband. He was AWARE of the world around him; True, he and his family did some traveling as many Europeans do to neighboring countries. Their world is so encompassing and I realized tonight more than ever, just how small my world had been. I say had, because since moving to New York City I have become more worldly, more cosmopolitan, more knowledgeable and more exposed to other cultures and races.
At the end of the movie when Peter asked me how I liked it, all I could say with a lump in my throat was, “I was on an island, not Robben, and I’m so ashamed” .