Film Review: Invictus

Written by on 12th January 2024

By George Puckey

Set in 1994-5 South Africa after many years of fighting for the civil rights of black Africans, this movie depicts the first year of Nelson Mandela’s rule as Prime Minister over what many considered to be a broken country, split in two. 

Directed by Clint Eastwood in 2009, Invictus shows how Mandela’s leadership managed to bring the country together for the rugby World Cup Finals, which was staged in South Africa in 1995.

Before the World Cup, many of the Black South Africans supported whoever was playing South Africa – as a protest against the oppression that they were suffering.

Photo Credit – Flickr

Mandela, played in the film by Morgan Freeman, wanted to use the event to build bridges across the racial divide, aligning all South Africans to support the national team.

One of the key initiatives was to get Francois Pienaar, the team captain (played by Matt Damon), to visit the poorer neighbourhoods to play rugby with the people and to teach them about the sport.

Overall, Invictus highlights the importance of sport as a beacon of light and hope in any community.

What did you think of Invictus – tell us at @Sparksunderland.

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