"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul" (William Ernest Henley)
Apartheid, rugby, South Africa. What do they all have in common? President Nelson Mandela. President Mandela, four years after being released from prison where he was held as a political prisoner, became president of South Africa in 1994 and remained so until 1999. He sought to end apartheid and develop unity between white South Africa and black South Africa.
As South Africa is about to host the World Cup of Rugby in 1995, President Mandela puts his support in the national team of South Africa, the Springboks. Aiding the team captain, Francois Pienaar, to "inspire" the team, he orders the team to take on "coaching" youth in rugby. This starts the proverbial ball rolling as they extend themselves beyond practice and drills thus making fans whereto for they had none. Black South Africa cheered on any team but the Springboks and white South Africa loved the Springboks despite their record losses. As the team draws together in their attempt to never again taste the bitterness of defeat, will that in turn unite the torn country?
Based on the book "Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a Nation" by John Carlin, this is an exciting and inspiring film. Starring Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, Matt Damon as Springboks captain Francois Pienaar, and directed by Clint Eastwood; it is a must see.
Nelson Mandela speaks of a poem that provided him much inspiration while he was imprisoned. This film was named for it.
Invictus (Latin, meaning 'unconquered').
"Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul."
(William Ernest Henley)
My family and I thoroughly enjoyed this film! Movie rating: 5/5 Definitely one for the home library!