login | register


His people needed a leader. He gave them a champion. 

Year: 2009 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Clint Eastwood 
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Adjoa Andoh  
An image from Invictus

After apartheid was put to an end and Nelson Mandela (Freeman) got the presidency of South Africa, there was a high level of resentment on both sides. This tension was epitomised in the national rugby team, the Springbocks, predominantly white and something which could have been seen as an old symbol for the new regime to take down. However, Nelson Mandela chose to take the harder path of building on the strengths of both sides. Invictus tells the story of how he used rugby team captain Pienaar (Damon) and the Springbocks to build unity in a divided country.

If anything, Invictus is epic. In his latest film, director Clint Eastwood does not try to build a minute study of human character. Rather, everyone's personality seems to be defined in broad but deep strokes. As a consequence, everything falls into place a bit too easily for the story to be considered a truthful depiction of history, but the film itself is all the better for it. Thanks to this, the film is momentous from beginning to end and the viewer is made to feel part of historical events. This choice also allows for consistency with Nelson Mandela's determination not to let bad experiences from the past trouble the way towards unity.

Yet the story is not without its nuances and little touches, especially through top-class acting from leads Freeman, Damon and Andoh. Neither is the film without its inner contradictions which reflect South Africa's very own, especially in terms of the soundtrack, which mixes traditional African choral music with Western music.

Invictus is a pearl. Neither a no-brainer nor a film which tries to be too clever for its own good, it will leave you on an emotional mountaintop.

Pierre Schramm

IMDb search | Back to Previous Schedule | This Season  |  BBFC Classification Guidelines

Screenings of this film:

2009/2010 Summer Term (35mm)
2009/2010 Summer Term (35mm)