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  Public Employee Press

PEP Feb 2014 Table of Contents
  La Voz

Public Employee Press

Book Review
Film, video and books on Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, 1918 - 2013

Nelson Mandela was a hero of the South African anti-apartheid freedom struggle who risked his life to liberate the majority African population from South Africa's brutal, racist apartheid system.

After the 1960 police massacre of unarmed demonstrators at Sharpeville, the struggle intensified and Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years along with other activists of the African National Congress.

At his trial, in a speech defending his beliefs and need to fight against apartheid, he declared, "It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die." It is fitting that these words grace the poster for director Justin Chadwick's "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," the film celebrating the life of the former South African president.

Based on Mandela's 1995 autobiography of the same name, which is available in the DC 37 Education Fund library, the movie uses the great man's own words to tell his tale. Idris Elba stars as the revolutionary leader in the film, which highlights the major moments of his life from his youth through his years in prison to finally becoming president.

The film was released only days before Mandela passed away on Dec. 5.

Elba's performance has earned rave reviews among critics and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Drama. The film is also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song (by the band U2, who have long campaigned against social injustice in their own right).

"Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" has been playing at select theaters, including the Angelika Film Center in New York City, and will be released on home video on March 18.

As a result of mass struggle and a worldwide boycott of South Africa, the white government was forced to negotiate a settlement resulting in political freedom for black South Africans who elected Mandela, the ANC's candidate, as president.

The story of Mandela and the movement he led is movingly told in the PBS Frontline documentary "Long Walk of Nelson Mandela," which is available on its website and in the DC 37 Education Fund's library on the second floor at the union.

Other titles on Mandela and the freedom movement in South Africa available in the union library include "Nelson Mandela: The Struggle Is My Life" (speeches and writings), "Mandela: A Critical Life" by Tom Lodge, "Madiba A-Z" by Danny Schechter, Mandela's "Address from the Dock at the Rivonia Trial" (CD) and various children's books on Mandela.

— Joe Lopez, PEP, and Ken Nash, DC 37 Education Fund Library

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