On the eve of Nelson Mandela’s life celebrations, we encourage the world to watch; “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” as a must-see education on how to work towards the greater good. This film is currently in US theaters, and is based on Mandela’s autobiography; “Long Walk to Freedom.” Idris Elba (“The Wire”) and Naomie Harris (“Skyfall”) give brilliant performances as Mr. and Mrs. Mandela seeking peace from 1960s-1994.
In just over two hours, “Mandela” takes you on the historic journey of how this political protester ended up in jail for 27 years, and then becomes the first democratically elected President of South Africa in 1994.
You’ll see how Mandela slept on a stone floor, was forced to wear short pants because of the color of his skin, and yet remained calm in prison despite the horrible circumstances. And just when you want to scream and throw things at the guards, Mandela is there to remind you to forgive and think about a bigger purpose in life.
What was reassuring about the film is that the story shows that Mandela was not perfect. During his early days in prison, Mandela raises his voice with a guard over his “5 farms and no need to work there.” His colleague calls him on it by saying, “If we get upset, they win.” This moment was the beginning of Mandela’s transformation to peace in the movie.
Ironically, Mandela made great sacrifices in his personal relationships to bring together South Africans. Mandela was on his second marriage in prison, and had challenges with both. While he struggled keeping the peace at home, he brought together a nation who fought internally over Apartheid’s system of racial segregation for decades.
When Mandela meets with President De Klerk (Gys de Villiers), it is beyond inspirational to see the way he handles their differences. Mandela refuses the proposed conditions tied to his prison release. Instead of asking people to stop the violence, he encourages them to stay home, forgive their enemies and vote with their voices for him for President.
“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” should be shown in all schools around the world to teach the power of peace. It is no surprise that a record number of 90+ Heads to State will be at the services tomorrow, including President Obama and Former Presidents Clinton and George W Bush. We should all learn from this once-in-a-century leader.
As Nelson Mandela emphasized, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” And there is so much to learn from this film! Go see "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom", tell a friend, watch “Invictus” too, and be of part of the positive movement for change! We have so many health, climate, and economic challenges that need to be solved that we don’t have time for fighting. Let’s all learn from Mandela and work towards the greater good.
© Liz H Kelly, National Digital Entertainment Columnist and Goody Awards http://goodyawards.com