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Mandela and de Klerk (1997)

PG-13 | | Drama | TV Movie 16 February 1997
On June 12, 1964, Nelson Mandela, along with numerous political detainees, was sentenced to life imprisonment in what remains the most sensational treason trial in the history of South ... See full summary »

Director:

Joseph Sargent

Writer:

Richard Wesley
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sidney Poitier ... Nelson Mandela
Michael Caine ... F.W. de Klerk
Tina Lifford ... Winnie Mandela
Gerry Maritz Gerry Maritz ... P.W. Botha
Ian Roberts Ian Roberts ... Kobie Coetsee
Ben Kruger Ben Kruger ... James Gregory
Jerry Mofokeng ... Walter Sisulu
Owen Sejake Owen Sejake ... Mlangeni
Andre Jacobs ... Niels Barnard (as André Jacobs)
Tertius Meintjes Tertius Meintjes ... Kykendal
John Carson ... Willem de Klerk
David Fortune David Fortune ... Mhlaba
Farouk Valley-Omar ... Kathrada
Terry Norton Terry Norton ... Marike de Klerk
Bankole Omotoso Bankole Omotoso ... Mbeki
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Storyline

On June 12, 1964, Nelson Mandela, along with numerous political detainees, was sentenced to life imprisonment in what remains the most sensational treason trial in the history of South Africa. The incarceration of Mandela and other political prisoners on Robben Island would become a symbol of the struggle to end apartheid and win freedom for the black majority in South Africa. On February 2, 1990, President F.W. De Klerk stood before Parliament and announced the legalization of the African National Congress and a host of other banned political organizations. At the same time, he announced that Nelson Mandela, having served twenty-seven years in prison, would be released within seven days. Yet the world, and indeed most South Africans, knew little about how this momentous occasion came to pass. Until now. This movie was filmed in South Africa. Most of the locations are those where the actual events took place, and the dramatized sequences are augmented with newsreel footage to ensure ... Written by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing images of political violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Afrikaans

Release Date:

16 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mandela y de Klerk See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second time that a movie that dealt with apartheid in South Africa starred Sidney Poitier and Sir Michael Caine, they also joined forces in The Wilby Conspiracy (1975). See more »

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User Reviews

 
Focuses on Mandela's later years
22 November 2017 | by HotToastyRagSee all my reviews

Sidney Poitier plays Nelson Mandela in this television biopic Mandela and de Klerk. The film focuses on the later years of Mandela's imprisonment, giving only five minutes or so in the beginning to the first twenty years. This story shows his relationship with his wife Winnie, played by Tina Lifford, and the politically changing climate in South Africa. Gerry Maritz and Michael Caine, playing P.W. Botha and F.W. de Klerk respectively, have lots of meetings with their political cohorts to decide how to handle the social situation, as well as debating the political gains and detriments that would coincide with potentially freeing Mandela.

While there is a very small side-plot that references Mandela's friendship with guard James Gregory, played by Ben Kruger, I wouldn't have even noticed that the real-life tidbit was included if I hadn't previously seen The Color of Freedom, a film starring Dennis Haysbert and Joseph Fiennes, that focused solely on that friendship.

All in all, the film feels a little cheap and obviously made for television. But, if you really like Mandela biographies, you can rent this movie to compare performances and help you choose a favorite actor among the many who have played him. While Sidney Poitier and Michael Caine don't look anything like the men they're portraying, they try very hard to do South African accents. Both speak very convincingly for about nine words, and on the tenth word they accidentally revert to their usual voices. But, it is a very difficult accent to master, so you can cut them a little slack if you'd like.


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