Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom

Deloris Guttman
Historian, African American Diversity
Cultural Center Hawaii

Overall, what did you think? This was one of the most emotionally stirring movies that I have seen since viewing the Holocaust movie Schindler’s List. It is difficult for me to imagine not being able to see the ones you love for more than a decade. Young Winnie (Naomie Harris) shines bright and suffers much hardship after her husband was incarcerated. In his absence, she was imprisoned for months and grows fearless, revengeful and unforgiving. This spirit caused the tension in their marriage after his release from prison.


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Deloris Guttman

After viewing this movie, it inspired me to start a conversation about social injustices with my friends in the African Literary Reading Group and family.

Without giving away the ending, what was one of your favorite scenes? I am a romantic. I liked the scenes where they are courting and very affectionate with each other. Mandela makes it very clear that she is the woman of his life.

On a scale of one to four stars, what would you rate this film? This movie is unlike any other Hollywood slave movie. I give it ★★★★!

Was the message/theme clear? The theme is about not trying to do something on your own but harnessing the power of the collective to achieve goals.

To whom would you recommend this movie? I recommend that everyone should view this film that represents a great man of humanitarian means for the world to model.

Did any of the actors stand out? Naomie Harris as Winnie was impressive, as well as Idris Elba as Mandela.

Did you identify with any of the characters? I can identify with Winnie as a mother but not her tenacity and burning desire for revenge. But I do understand much of her grief from the lack of not having a husband around to help with the children.

Did the soundtrack contribute significantly to the film? The soundtrack was profound in that it was an integral part of the narrative that enhances the story.

Would you buy this movie when it comes out on DVD? Yes, to re-show as an educational film about one of the great human beings who was able to heal and reconcile with those who tormented him, his family and African people of South Africa. Nelson Mandela was a man who defied odds, broke down barriers and championed human rights before the eyes of the world.

What’s your favorite movie snack? Popcorn!

On a different note, what’s new with you? To mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s march in Washington, we will honor Nelson Mandela and his contributions to the world with the Bridging Cultures Created Equal Emancipation Walk/Run at 7 a.m. Jan. 18 at Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park. Mandela was the world’s greatest peacemaker who stood for all that humanity has to offer. In Hawaii, we are a people of diverse cultures living on islands in close proximity and can show the world how to live in harmony with each other. I invite all people to be in the rainbow of love by participating in the Emancipation Freedom Walk/run and collecting pledges to honor Mandela’s gift to the world to support Africa American Diversity Cultural Center Hawaii’s youth programs in the schools. AADCCH needs everyone’s support, including the business community, to do the work that is ahead to make the world a better place for all our children tomorrow.

Throughout 2014, AADCCH will showcase four documentaries with riveting new footage illustrating the history of civil rights in America. These powerful documentaries – The Abolitionists, Slavery by Another Name, Freedom Riders and The Loving Story – include dramatic scenes of incidents in the 150-year effort to achieve equal rights for all. These films will bring communities together to revisit our shared history and help bridge deep racial and cultural divides in American civic life.

Toni Palermo, chairwoman of the NEH Steering Committee for the film series, invites community organizations, universities, schools and community groups to show one of these films. The four films are available from AADCCH for free. Please call to schedule one for your group.

For more information, call 597-1341.