Sunday, 3 November 2013

Mandela Film 'Difficult To Watch' Says Daughter


The South African première of Nelson Mandela's life story will take place later today in Johannesburg with the film's main focus still lying in bed critically ill after nearly five months.
Many of his close family will tread the red carpet in honour of the man who fought for the democratic rights of black South Africans and who went onto become the country's first black President.
His daughter Zindzi told a news conference, ahead of the film launch, how emotional she became when she watched The Long Walk to Freedom for the first time with her mother, Winnie Madikizela Mandela, Mr Mandela's second wife.


"It was difficult to watch," she said. "At times I had to look away because it reminded me of the pain and loneliness of all those times when we had neither my father, nor my mother."
It is however, a film which has been endorsed by the Mandela family and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
The film's producer, South African Anant Singh, got personal approval from Nelson Mandela himself, even taking excerpts and stills from the film for him to peruse at his home in Qunu last year.
He recounted how, when he showed him pictures of actor Idris Elba playing the older Mandela, Mr Mandela asked him: "Is that me?"
Elba himself missed the pre-premiere publicity the day before the launch after having an asthma attack as he was boarding the plane to South Africa.
The film-makers are hoping he will still make the launch at the upmarket Rosebank cinema complex in Johannesburg late afternoon.
The film may have a British director - Justin Chadwick - and two British actors in the leading roles (Idris Elba playing Mr Mandela and Naomie Harris playing Winnie), but the film-makers insist it is a South African story told largely by South Africans.
The director did not want to use acting extras but chose to film many of the scenes in situ in the townships.
With a budget of just $35m (£21.9m) it is a relatively low-cost film, especially since they had to build many of the locations - such as the Robben Island jail where Mandela spent decades.

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