Acclaimed British actor Idris Elba (TV’s The Wire) is magnetic as the legendary South African freedom fighter in this rousing adaptation of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom.


Gala Presentations

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Justin Chadwick

His story is epic and inspiring. Born to be a Xhosa leader, he was trained in law, then drawn into resistance, then politics, then elevated to a reverence that approached sainthood. Nelson Mandela has lived one of the most remarkable lives of our time. His autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, charts the many struggles that took him from South Africa's rural Cape region to armed struggle and arrest, and then to the president's mansion as his nation's first democratically elected leader.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom transforms Mandela's book into a rousing, spirited film. Acclaimed British actor Idris Elba (Pacific Rim, television's The Wire), tackles with gusto the role of the great man. From the first moment he speaks, sounding uncannily like the real Mandela, the veil of illusion slips away and we're back with the crusading lawyer as he battles South Africa's apartheid regime, first with new comrades of the African National Congress, and then, most powerfully, alongside his wife Winnie Mandela (Naomie Harris). Elba delivers a strong, physical performance as Mandela. He's as convincing when portraying him as a young amateur boxer as he is playing him later in life, growing old in prison on Robben Island drawing less on athletic prowess and more on the force of ideas that would eventually set him, and his country, free.

Directed with inspiring emotion by Justin Chadwick (The First Grader), Mandela is, above all, a love story. It's the story of Nelson and Winnie's passionate and troubled love affair that endured over decades. It's also the story of a leader who so loved his country that, through his beliefs, his actions, and his example, he transformed himself into the very embodiment of its greatest hopes.


Sat Sep 07

Scotiabank 1

Sat Sep 07

Roy Thomson Hall

Sun Sep 08

Princess of Wales

Fri Sep 13

TIFF Bell Lightbox 1