28 September 1999 | Guy33134
Good biopic combining actual footage and great performances
This is a well-structured, easy to follow "short version" of the Mandela miracle. The actual events were of course much more complex, as was the cast of important characters. But weaving actual footage with the close ups of Poitier(Mandela) and Caine (DeKlerk) produced a better documentary of this historic process than other "actual" documentaries. Poitier has played Mandela and South African heroes so often and so well, we may be mixing fact and fiction here. Caine also gave a great performance, perhaps the finest dramatic portrayal of his career. I'm convinced that the relatively low rating the movie has received in your base is due to the high number of South African voters. Though casting Caine as DeKlerk was necessary to attract viewers (and the bald Caine actually bore a good resemblance to DeKlerk), the choice was obviously not well received by Afrikaaanerdom and South Africans in general. How can the last important Afrikaaner ever be portrayed by his historical nemesis, an Englishman? Makes sense, but otherwise the film was great as biopics go.