I would advise anyone interested in wanting to know why Nelson Mandela was such an international icon and respected visionary to see the movie, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom. The movie does not promote Nelson as a perfect man without flaws but let the viewers see the frailties and human weaknesses of a man throughout his walk to greatness. The metamorphosis is one that many people can identify with. We see that as we grow, there are challenges we can overcome, given time, faith, and unrelenting hope.
It is a tale of pain, struggle, and sacrifice by a man to change the course of others in dire circumstances, regardless of the costs to himself. This is probably one of the greatest gifts and attributes that an individual can offer to humanity. In the final analysis, one can conclude that it is not about one’s self, but promoting the welfare of others who are suffering and the victims of gross inequality. It is about making the world better, especially for those coming after you.
Mandela’s perseverance, after years imprisoned in what appeared as a hopeless and futile situation, was nothing short of miraculous and predestined. The inspirational component manifested was nothing short of spiritual. How often do you find individuals subjected to the cruelties and dehumanization he endured who do not succumb to becoming a harbinger of the hate so avid and abundant among their oppressors? It takes a rare individual to arrive at this uncompromising level of forgiveness, not gravitating toward retaliation and revenge on those so blatantly tormenting and persecuting him. While his decisions in later years may not have had the support of all he hoped to help, it was in the best interests for all. Sometimes one cannot get beyond our human in dealing with hurt, pain and injustice to the human flesh and mind. The inability to forgive and go forward robs one of fully evolving into a genuinely loving and giving individual. It is more easily said than done and not usually the case for the majority. But one must remember that true love and forgiveness is spiritual and transcends the manipulation of man.
During the movie you could understand why some recipients of the physical and mental abuse from their oppressors found it hard if not impossible to forgive and not harbor resentment. One of the most profound statements made was one by Winnie Mandela in a defiant moment when she stated her hate made her stronger. Many people of color can attest to adopting hate after being subjected to discriminatory and racist practices by those oppressing them. Hate for many is not taught but adopted because of personal individual experiences. It is easy and understandable to incorporate hate as a part of a defense mechanism. But one must be mindful that this hate makes you a prisoner and stifles your ability to grow and reach your full potential as a productive and beneficial human being.
Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom hits a home run in portraying the true human emotions that can only come about from being subjected to the trials and tribulations associated with oppression and inequality. These are mundane feelings attributed to human beings born of the flesh. Acquiescing and not addressing true oppression and injustice does not aid in its demise. This movie reminds us that there exist true soldiers fighting to end suffering and inequality by oppressive regimes. Their stories inspire us and motivate us to do our part in making a difference in creating a better world.
Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom is a ‘must see’ movie that demands serious discussion by social conscientious groups. One can’t help but conclude that the world is a much better place because of those who refuse to ignore suffering and inequality brought about by the oppression of some.