2593
3 mins read

The problem with Hollywood Mandelas

More important than the inaccuracies (and makeup malfunctions) is what “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” (which stars Idris Elba) erases. Among its elisions are the Cold War, communism (the South African Communist Party recently confirmed that Mandela was indeed a member, which had been something of an open secret for years), U.S. support for apartheid and the apartheid state’s sponsorship of so-called black-on-black violence in the 1980s and early 1990s. (In the film, it seems that Winnie Mandela, painted as an irrational, Lady Macbeth–like character, was the cause of the violence, which in fact resulted from clashes between forces aligned with the African National Congress and state-funded proxy organizations like the nominally Zulu nationalist Inkatha.)

846
7 mins read

Roger Ebert was the business

There are other film critics who are intellectual–like Stuart Klawans at The Nation, Armond White (he was good once) and Stanley Kaufmann at The New Republic–but they lacked Ebert’s accessibility and heart. (Ebert, by the way, had an acute sense of the racial political economy in US cinema, as Richard Prince blogged at The Root). Ebert, who traveled to Apartheid South Africa as a young man, also reviewed a lot of African films.

4 mins read

National Geographic on “Mandela’s Children”

Like many other mainstream publications, National Geographic Magazine’s June 2010 issue (out May 25) will host a feature on South Africa. The feature is entitled, “Mandela’s Children” (titled for Mandela’s…..

899
1 min read

Reviewing "Invictus"

A friend (he’s a filmmaker himself) emailed me his opinion about “Invictus,” the film in which Nelson Mandela disguised as Morgan Freeman conspires with Matt Damon to win the 1995…..

1206
2 mins read

Matt Damon saves South Africa

As you may have figured out my now (from my earlier post), I don’t particularly like the idea behind “Invictus.” I finally saw it and had to prevent myself from…..