Mandela (1996 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Madela DVD Poster.jpg
DVD cover
Directed byAngus Gibson
Jo Menell
Produced byJonathan Demme
Jo Menell
Edward Saxon
Written byBo Widerberg Researcher Michele Rowe
Music byHugh Masekela
Cédric Gradus Samson
CinematographyDewald Aukema
Peter Tischhauser
Edited byAndy Keir
Clinica Estetico
Island Pictures
Distributed byIsland Pictures
Release date
  • October 11, 1996 (1996-10-11)
Running time
118 minutes
CountrySouth Africa
United States

Mandela (also called Mandela: Son of Africa, Father of a Nation) is a 1996 documentary film directed by Angus Gibson and Jo Menell. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.[1]


The documentary is the official film biography of Nelson Mandela, the first democratically elected president of the ethnically united South Africa. The film touches on Nelson Mandela's childhood, family, education, and his long struggle to gain freedom for all the various ethnic groups in South Africa, including his experiences on the Robben Island prison.



Film critic Roger Ebert, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, liked the film but felt more information should have been included, especially the motivations of F.W. de Klerk. He wrote, "The actual story of the events leading to the election is more complicated and interesting. Yes, South Africa suffered from economic sanctions. But it could have survived for many years before caving in; it forged clandestine trading arrangements with countries ranging from China to Israel, and its diamonds still found their way onto the fingers of brides all over the world. Civil unrest was widespread, but South Africa had a fearsome array of police and military forces to counter it. If white South Africa had been adamant, apartheid would still be law...None of those events are told in Mandela, which simplifies the transfer of power into a fable of black against white; it all but implies that de Klerk was unwilling to see power change hands."[2]

Critics Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat liked the film and wrote, "Directors Jo Menell and Angus Gibson give us an up-close and personal portrait of this black hero...This inspiring and edifying screen biography celebrates Mandela as a freedom fighter and a liberator — the father of a nation."[3]





  1. ^ "The 69th Academy Awards (1997) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
  2. ^ Ebert, Roger. Chicago Sun-Times film review, March 21, 1997. Last accessed: February 5, 2011.
  3. ^ Brussat, Frederic and Mary Ann. Spirituality & Practice, film review, March 1997. Last accessed: February 5, 2011.

External links[edit]