Winnie Mandela

2014-03-07 10:19
 
What it's about:

A drama that chronicles the life of Winnie Mandela from her childhood through her marriage and her husband's incarceration.

What we thought about it:

The story of Nelson Mandela is a very well know story and though we’ve come to know Winnie Mandela through his story we have never really been told her story. This movie attempts to shed light on one of the most prolific women in South African history.

This movie tells the story of Winnie’s remarkable journey during the most volatile time in our history and focuses strongly on her own time in solitary confinement and ultimately how this changed her. It lays bare Winnie’s life; her triumphs and the unsavoury parts.

The movie is done beautifully from the rolling hills of the Transkei, to 1950s Jozi, to the harrowing uprising in 1976, her banishment to the Free State where she helped set up the Bradford Clinic and her return to a Soweto rife with violence. I really felt like I was living through her life.

With Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom still fresh in my mind it would only be natural for me to compare Naomi Harris and Jennifer Hudson’s portrayal of Winnie. Harris portrayed Winnie as a very cold, hard person; I felt no connection to her as a character whereas Hudson’s Winnie was more of a person to me. 

Hudson brings depth to a very complex character and manages to bring both strength and vulnerability to the role. She did a stellar job in her portrayal of Winnie in solitary confinement. Jailed for over a year, repeatedly tortured and mistreated and on the brink of losing her mind a weaker person would have easily given up. You cannot help but admire her strength and resilience. But it is also this resilience that fuelled her hatred and led to her downfall. Whereas Mandela could forgive Winnie never could and herein lays the tragedy of their love story.

After just seeing Terrance Howard in Best Man Holiday it is quite refreshing to see him in a different kind of role. He takes on the role of Nelson Mandela with such reverence. While the movie did focus on Mandela’s political activism we see him more as a husband here; not the ‘superhuman’ he is known for. The movie does focus strongly on their relationship, after all, the producers have said that they wanted to make this a love story. I felt that his role was secondary to Hudson’s, it is after all Winnie’s story and she does carry the full weight of it on her shoulders. There is one standout scene in the film that will go down as one of Howard’s greatest film moments.

This movie did a good job of humanising both Mandela and Winnie. We see them as ‘real people’ and not the larger than life beings they are often made out to be. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this film, but go and see it and make up your own mind about it.


Love in a time of turbulence.
Read more on:    jennifer hudson  |  terrence howard  |  winnie  |  tv

Tasocial 2014/03/10 9:53 PM
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how hard it was for this woman those years. It's a great movie. related movies http://www.thelatestvidz.com
reginald.lee.549 2014/03/12 9:15 PM
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Winnie Mandela: The Untold Story is very popular with the folks I know here in the United States!
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