"Forgiveness Transcends Politics"
Clint Eastwood’s new movie, INVICTUS, is a stirring drama about how a sporting event united South Africans after Nelson Mandela became the first black president in 1994 and led a campaign of forgiveness and reconciliation. With its moral, Christian message, INVICTUS is inspiring, spiritually uplifting, and impressive, but there is some foul language and humanism requiring caution for older children.
INVICTUS is a stirring drama about how a sporting event united South Africans and eased racial tensions after Nelson Mandela became the first black president in 1994. It shows, that, if a political leader wants to inspire a clear majority of the people, he must work hard to rise above political and other differences and sometimes even work with the other side to forge a true compromise that respects their values. The movie’s main theme, however, stresses forgiveness and reconciliation in an inspiring, redemptive way.
The movie stars Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela. The story begins with Mandela taking the reins of power in South Africa after a hard fought election. To the consternation of his black bodyguards, he asks the white security forces to help them to protect him from any assassination attempts. He also upsets his personal advisor, a black woman, by convincing his supporters not to disband the national rugby team, which had become a hated symbol of apartheid (forced racial segregation) to Mandela’s party and most other blacks. Mandela tells his black supporters they must forgive the white South Africans for their support of apartheid and not seek revenge.
At the same time, Mandela reaches out to the rugby team’s white captain, Francois Pienaar, played by Matt Damon. Mandela inspires Francois to lead his team to some victories in the 1995 World Cup. One of the team’s best players, and only black star, suffers from a hamstring injury, however.
Will Mandela’s efforts to unite blacks and whites, and ease racial tensions, succeed? Will the black player’s injury heal in time? Will the team beat their long-time rivals from New Zealand in the finals?
Forgiveness and reconciliation are the main theme of INVICTUS. It is also the main thing that President Mandela teaches his supporters and the white rugby players in the movie. Thus, the movie depicts Mandela as trying to heal the division between whites and blacks during this brief period in South Africa’s history.
Here, it is interesting to note that the movie shows Mandela convincing his black supporters not to take revenge on the whites by changing the colors of the rugby team, or by disbanding it. In doing so, Mandela encourages his supporters to work with the whites and respect their values and concerns.
With its moral, Christian message of forgiveness and reconciliation, INVICTUS is inspiring, spiritually uplifting, heartfelt, and impressive. As director, Clint Eastwood does another superb job. He extracts excellent performances from Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. The sport scenes with the large crowds are also captivating and spectacular.
The movie’s moral, Christian worldview includes a prayer of thanks to God at a crucial moment. The movie’s title refers, however, to the famous humanist poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. Written in a hospital, Henly’s poem extols human will, saying at the end, “I am the captain of my soul” after giving thanks to “whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul.” Invictus is Latin for “unconquered.” Mandela tells Francois that the poem inspired him not to give up when he was imprisoned for about 30 years. And, that’s exactly what inspires Francois to lead the rugby team to victory. There’s also some foul language in the movie and an implied but not shown sexual scene where Francois’ fiancé visits him in his hotel and the couple disappears from view while kissing, so caution for pre-teenagers or older children is recommended.
(BBB, CC, BBB, H, Pa, PP, L, V, S, N, A, M) Very strong moral worldview with strong Christian values and content stressing forgiveness and reconciliation, with a prayer of thanks to “the Lord” at the end and an African song has a refrain meaning “God bless Africa,” minimized by several references to a famous humanist poem, titled “Invictus,” which extols human will saying, “I am the captain of my soul” after giving thanks to “whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul” (Invictus is Latin for “unconquered”), which also inspires the movie’s two protagonists, plus some strong patriotic values extolled as the new president of a country tries to unite two factions by appealing to their sense of duty toward their country; nine obscenities (including one “f” word) and no profanities; some rugby game violence during re-staged rugby games and people are afraid that their country’s new leader could be assassinated; no depicted sex scenes but fiancé enters her traveling partner’s hotel room and they kiss and disappear from shot, implying they will make love then; upper male nudity in locker room scenes; brief alcohol use; no smoking; and, racism and resentment overcome.
INVICTUS stars Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela. The story begins with Mandela becoming President of South Africa after a hard fought election. To the consternation of his black bodyguards, he asks the white security forces to help protect him. He also upsets his personal advisor when he convinces his supporters not to disband the national rugby team, which was a hated symbol of segregation to black South Africans. Mandela tells his black supporters they must forgive the whites and not seek revenge. At the same time, Mandela reaches out to the rugby team’s white captain, played by Matt Damon. Mandela inspires him to lead his team to victory in the 1995 World Cup.
Forgiveness and reconciliation are the main theme of INVICTUS. With its moral, Christian message of forgiveness, INVICTUS is inspiring, spiritually uplifting, heartfelt, and impressive. As director, Clint Eastwood does another superb job. He extracts excellent performances from Freeman and Damon. The movie contains a prayer to God at a crucial moment and positive Christian references, but it also has references to a humanist poem that extols human will. There are also some obscenities, so caution for older children is advised.