Friday, January 22, 2010

Invictus, bis

I did get to see Invictus the other day. Great film. The second half might be a bit rugby-laden for the uninitiated or the unintrigued. And a friend mentions that the film is utterly silent on the poisoning episode.
Yes. Apparently the All Blacks suffered some serious food poisoning the night before the final, and thus were artificially not at their best for the big match. The Blacks themselves never made an issue of it, though the Kiwi media certainly did. Thing is, with the Blacks not making an issue, nobody really investigated. So we don’t know if there was some sinister plot by the South African government to win at any cost. Or if a person acting on his own initiative decided to give the Springboks a hand. Or if there was just an unfortunately bad dish served to the team that night.
Personally, I think that given the uncertainty surrounding the event, it’s just as well that Eastwood and his team didn’t get into it.
Much more interesting anyway is the beginning of the film, which addresses how the Mandela government dealt with the early days of integration.
His speech to the executive staff is inspiring but expected. More getting-down-to-it is the series where the black security team is begging for more men, and are sent the members of the old, white team. You need guys? Here they are. They guarded de Klerk for years; they know what they’re about.
The story would seem too good to be true. And maybe the film is polished and bright-side and hagiographic, but we know that indeed, Mandela pulled it off. The country did integrate without becoming virulently anti-white in the way its neighbors did. The Springboks did win in '95 (and again in '07). Invictus is a fascinating look at just how.


steven said...

hi nanu - those friends of mine who've seen this said much the same as you - clearly based on reality but carefully polished. the net result though was positive. it's strange to think that this all happened and became the status quo and thank goodness for that!!! steven

GingerV said...

this sounds interesting and I generally like Eastwood's direction. Everytime I see or read about Mandela I think how fragil our ideas on terrorist are. Mandela was considered a terrorist and now he is honored and revered - it will be awhile before it is here, 30-60 days past opening in all other countries.