starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon,
screenplay by Anthony Peckham
directed by Clint Eastwood
Based on the book Playing the Enemy by John Carlin this is a moving story of the birth of a new South Africathat accompanied the election of President Nelson Mandela after his release from 27-years of imprisonment for resistance to Apartheid. Mandela successfully used the 1995 Rugby World Cup - held in South Africa and which the South African Springboks won as an underdog - as a patriotic booster for the nation. The racial tensions of South Africa, the different cultural affiliations of blacks and whites, the resentments and suspicions of racial groups in that society are all nicely illustrated. And, of course, Nelson Mandela comes across as a practical saint, the noblest of men, tempered by his suffering and angelically forgiving. The hagiography is rampant and blatant, outside South Africa and throughout the world. Nelson Mandela is a template for a modern hero. Try saying anything against him - and there is plenty - and see watch condemnation falls. It’s politics and fantasy.
Morgan Freeman is a great actor. He is the only major film actor who could possibly have portrayed Nelson Mandela. Matt Damon is reputed to be a great actor, too, but I have never favored him because he doesn’t move well - one of the signature traits I look for in an actor. Instead, Damon always looks like Gumby - made of rubber with wires inside that you must set with you fingers in order to give his body posture.
After watching the film I still did not understand the meaning of the title “Invictus.” So I watched it again. Nope, I still don’t get it.