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Clint Eastwood (2009)

12A Certificate
Saturday 8pm - 10:25pm RTÉ2


Our Score
William Earnest Henley's poem Invictus contains the lines "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul", words that gave hope to Nelson Mandela during the darkest days of his 27-year imprisonment on Robben Island. They also provided the inspiration for Springbok rugby captain Francois Pienaar as he led his unfancied team in the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. That event forms the basis of Clint Eastwood's heart-warming drama, which shows how newly elected President Mandela used the tournament as a catalyst to bring his divided nation together following the end of apartheid. As Mandela, Morgan Freeman is suitably statesman-like and makes light of a difficult accent to give a convincing performance. Less convincing but still serviceable is Matt Damon, whose portrayal of Pienaar is hampered by the fact that he's considerably less imposing than the real-life player. That we can forgive such flaws is down to Eastwood's skill at blending human drama and history, as well as the introduction of some well-timed humour. The violence that marred the run-up to South Africa's first multiracial election is covered in documentary footage early on, but the focus here is on how the vision, steely determination and forgiveness of a great man gave hope to a nation.


Following his election as president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela finds himself the leader of a racially and economically divided nation, and seeks a means to unite the people. The country's entry in the 1995 Rugby World Cup provides a perfect opportunity, and he enlists the aid of captain Francois Pienaar in making his team an inspiration to all South Africans. Clint Eastwood's fact-based drama, starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon.

Cast & Crew

Nelson Mandela Morgan Freeman
Francois Pienaar Matt Damon
Jason Tshabalala Tony Kgoroge
Etienne Feyder Julian Lewis Jones
Brenda Mazibuko Adjoa Andoh
Linga Moonsamy Patrick Mofokeng
Hendrick Booyens Matt Stern
Mary Leleti Khumalo
Director Clint Eastwood
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Warner BrosGuidance: Swearing.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 5 Feb 2010