Invictus

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(2009) ★★★

ITV1: Saturday 19 September, 10.45pm

Newly elected South African president Nelson Mandela, viewed with fear and suspicion by the whites, uses the 1995 rugby World Cup to bring the rainbow nation together behind the Springboks, a detested symbol of apartheid to the blacks. Morgan Freeman, famously a survivor of long-term imprisonment in The Shawshank Redemption, brings dignity, sincerity and, best of all, understatement, to his sly portrayal of Mandela.

Behind a boyish blond rinse and a prosthetic nose, Matt Damon is Springbok skipper François Pienaar. The rugby’s probably the least interesting aspect of Clint Eastwood’s sturdy, occasionally stolid, drama which pulls off the considerable trick of giving international politics a human face. A bit like the remarkable Mandela himself.

In fact, the film’s working title was The Human Factor. Invictus, Latin for Unconquered, is the title of W.E. Henley’s inspirational Victorian poem, a copy of which Nelson Mandela kept while imprisoned at Robben Island. Eastwood was brought on board by Freeman, who co-produced the picture. They previously worked together on Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby.

Certificate: 12

Duration: 134min

IMDB – Invictus

TMDB – Invictus

Rotten Tomatoes – Invictus

Other Showings Time & Date
ITV4 Friday, 25 September at 8:00PM
ITV4 Thursday, 1 October at 10:15PM