Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I Am The Master of My Fate, I Am The Captain Of My Soul

Nelson Mandela is a personal hero of mine. He was a political prison for 30 years until his release into the system known as Apartheid. This government system was designed to turn the majority black population into second class citizens by denying them access to the best schools and hospitals and other basic human rights. Many careers were denied them based solely on the color of their skin. Keeping them down and poor (despite being the majority in the country of South Africa) was one of a thousand ways that the white power structure plotted to keep the whites in charge.

In 1990 Mandela was released from prison and was elected as its first black President. At the time many were calling for war crimes trials and retribution against whites for the suffering the policy of Apartheid had caused them. Mandela realized there was a better way. He was going to unite the people rather than divide them. He was going to forgive the past and move bravely into the future. That act alone is testament to Mandela's greatness as a politician and a man.

INVITICUS (the latin word for 'unconquered') is the true story of how Mandela lobbied to bring the 1995 World Cup of Rugby to his nation. He wanted both white and black players to represent South Africa. His logic was that if both whites and blacks can find a common issue to agree upon and support (the country's rugby team being that common issue) then they maybe can find other points of agreement.

Sport has always been a way to socially engineer change in a country. No matter how poor a person is they love their sports. All you really need to play soccer or rugby is a ball. Its the one field in which a person can throw off the shackles of his oppressment and rise to greatness if they work and train hard enough.

Of the cast, Morgan Freeman is the ONLY one who can play Mandela. He has the look and the acting skill to bring Mandela to life. I see him being a serious Oscar contender for this role of a lifetime. I have never been disappointed by any of Matt Damon's performances so I suspect him to be great in this movie as well. And if that doesn't make you want to see this movie then let me also tell you that it is directed by one Mr. Clint Eastwood - definitely one of the greatest directors of this or any other generation.

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