Invictus – unconquered

Invictus - unconquered

Invictus – unconstrained

               Genre: Drama, Biography
               Apartheid, South Africa, rugby, Nelson Mandela

with the rugby union

  Imagine, German reunification had not been 1990, but only in 2006. In that year, therefore, was organized in the World Cup from Germany. Then imagine further, the German national team would have emerged from that tournament as a radiant and totally unexpected winner – that would surely have been a summer fairy tale. Of course this is only a construct of thought, but it illustrates the basic idea of Invictus – unconquered, the new film by Clint Eastwood. Although this is also about football, but at the center of the drama with Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon in the lead roles quite another sport that this country leads a shadowy existence is at best – it’s about rugby.

The depth of the trench in South African society through the decades of apartheid is wrong, you see, even in sports. This becomes particularly obvious in the first settings. In a fenced playground coached a rugby team, which consists entirely of white players. Almost by accident, apparently due only to the course of the game, the camera then captured another fence, behind which a group of black people playing football. It is the 11th February 1990 – the day is released at the Nelson Mandela from his 27 years-long detention. And the day that marks the beginning of the end of apartheid.

But four years later the country is still deeply divided than Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman), the leader of the ANC (African National Congress), the the country’s new president is elected – and the first black government in South Africa. Then the following year 1995, the Rugby World Cup was first held in our own country, Mandela sees this as an opportunity for national unity and identity to establish that it is simply not there yet – even in sport. For the “Springboks”, the South African national team, is regarded as the epitome of the old apartheid regime. Mandela, however, aware of the unifying power of sport and does everything to excite Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon), by no means convinced the captain of the team for his cause. Only with time to convince successful, but as the team knows that it is next to the sporting success also about the future of their shattered nation grows, the team above himself …

A revolutionary was Clint Eastwood in his career as a director before. And it also changes with Invictus – unconquered nothing. Straightforward and in some moments, as described in the opening sequence tells admirably economical and consistently well cast, is Eastwood’s new plant solid Hollywood fare with the claim, but without too many surprises.

Sometimes you feel a little too clearly subordinated to the extent to which the characters and situations here, the one great narrative goal. The actual political and social conditions in Africa one can possibly imagine. Instead, the film relies on grand gestures, which in some scenes a little too large designed to with meaning, and to fail is not always reliable. Obviously, as we have seen the example of Mandela film Goodbye, Bafana, is the history of South African politician’s too powerful to be inconceivable not to succumb to the temptations of a hyperproduction.

In a few months know, begins the World Cup in South Africa, then it is exactly 15 years ago that the “Springboks” with the support of the entire nation won the World Cup in rugby. There might be the coup of 1995 again so once again, in the favorite sport of the black majority. Whether Clint Eastwood’s new film can score at the Oscars, however, we soon know. If the competition this year is not so strong, stood no chance for the very solid drama directed badly. Finally, it provides exactly the mix of big emotions, deserving actors and mild political message that the academy happy times decorated with a golden boy.

(Paul Collmar)

Title: Invictus – unconstrained Original Title: Invictus Country of production: USA Year of production: 2009 Length: 133 (min) of material: Warner Bros.

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