Viva Nelson Mandela: A Hero for All Seasons (2008)

Article excerpt

Viva Nelson Mandela: A Hero for All Seasons (2008)

Directed by Catherine Meyburgh

Distributed by Choices, Inc.


95 minutes

"I hoped and vowed that among the treasures that life might offer me would be the opportunity to serve my people and make my own humble contribution to the freedom struggle." Thus begins this film, with the inspiring words of Nelson Mandela. This documentary, while not presenting a full-blown biography of this important political figure in South Africa, highlights the key political events of his Ufe. The film demonstrates through the eyes of a filmmaker who is very sympathetic to, inspired by, and perhaps even enamored with the person and remarkable achievements of Mandela - the challenges and changes that he experienced as he lived his life as a political and charismatic leader for many of the people of South Africa. It is replete with many still- life photos and video footage of Mandela at various points in this life, as well as commentary via interviews with those close to him.

For those not familiar with the details of Mandela's life, this film does not provide much in the way of background and also has quite a few major time gaps in recounting his life. However, for those familiar with the man but without a deeper knowledge of his political achievements, it certainly offers a sense of his impact on South Africa, and by extension, the world, highHghting many of the major points of his charismatic leadership. His early political career and modus operandi was characterized by nonviolent resistance to the oppression of the apartheid government in South Africa and its attendant abuses towards its Black majority, but he eventually espoused violence as the only means to use against the white government, since that seemed to be the only language they understood. …


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